Books Blog

Brian Jacques 1939-2011

Beloved author Brian Jacques passed away earlier this week. The Redwall Abbey series, his most notable works, were originally written for the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind, his favorite stop while delivering milk. Even though he is no longer with us, the magical worlds he created will live forever.

Book to Movie News: The Academy Awards

The 83rd Academy Awards airs on February 27, 2011. Who are your favorites to bring home the Oscar? Many of this year's nominated films are based on books! Do you prefer to read the book before or after the movie?

  • Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan is the basis for the film The Town, nominated for Best Picture.
  • War by Sebastian Junger is the basis for the film Restrepo, nominated for Best Documentary.

Not Your Average Bowl: Snacks, Soup and Salads

100 Calorie Snack Cookbook

Set yourself apart from the crowd this Super Bowl Sunday by choosing to snack smarter. The LA Times reports that on average every viewer watching the game will consume 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat. Check out these great cookbooks with healthy recipes for snacks, appetizers, soups and salads. Your Home Team will cheer for leading them to a win with these great recipes.

Educations of Wandering Men

Education of a Wandering Man by Louis L'Amour

Encouraged by Louis L'Amour's call to become a "wandering reader," I discovered three titles that offer adventure and the kinship of wonderful storytellers.

At the age of 15, L'Amour left school and made the world his classroom. In Education of A Wandering Man, he shares, "The greatest gift anyone can give to another is the desire to know, to understand...Life is for delving, discovering, learning."

Celebrate No Name-Calling Week!

No Name-Calling Week

Anyone who has ever been called a name knows that words can hurt. Children and adults can put an end to bullying and name calling by talking openly and honestly about this behavior and ways to handle these difficult situations.

Books for Kids:

Books for Adults:

Meet Odd Thomas in all his forms

Odd Is On Our Side

With the publication of Odd Is On Our Side, Dean Koontz continues to flesh out the story of reluctant paranormal detective Odd Thomas. And he continues to use a range of media—from traditional books to manga style graphic novels to YouTube webisodes—to do it.

Odd Thomas is a romantic, a fry cook, and he can see and talk to the dead. He can also see "Bodachs," spirits which gather at sites of pending violence and disaster. This allows Odd to know when bad things are going to happen, and to try to prevent them, while along the way doing his best to help his living and non-living companions.

No matter how your prefer to consume your media—digitally or in print, graphically, or in audio or video—there's some Odd Thomas for you to enjoy!

Popular Science

2010 was a great year for accessible science writing. If you want to learn something and be entertained at the same time, try out some of these recent popular science and natural history titles.

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, Susan Casey

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival, John Vaillant

Killers We Hate to Love

Coming hot on the heels of deliciously demented Dexter there is John Wayne Cleaver. Named after a serial killer and a murder weapon how can he escape his destiny?

In "I Am Not A Serial Killer" we meet John Wayne Cleaver, just your average teenage boy, likes fires, girls and serial killers. Ok, well perhaps not your average teenage boy. John lives in a mortuary so that's a plus, for him, as he likes dead bodies and the peace they provide for his inner demon. And speaking of demons....

To Be A Slave

While browsing the Central book stacks, I re-discovered Julius Lester's To Be A Slave.

An award winning writer and retired professor, Lester delved into the slave narratives collected during the Federal Writers' Project. He selected personal accounts about the experience of the auction block, plantation life, resistance, and emancipation. Published in 1968 and named a Newbery honor book in 1969, To Be A Slave was one of the first nonfiction books in children's literature to share the personal testimonies of slaves.

The Coral Thief

The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott

The Coral Thief by Rebecca Stott is a work of historical fiction that takes place in Paris just after the fall of Napoleon at Waterloo.  Adventure, romance, history and crime are all here in one exciting novel.

This book was made for readers who like the Romantic Period of the early 19th century. At that time the city of lights was on the cutting edge of Western Civilization.  Scientists were just beginning to discover ancient fossils and understand that the earth is millions of years old.  The author has included fictionalized representations of historical persons like the French zoologist and paleontologist Georges Cuvier and the master criminal cum police detective Eugene-Francois Vidocq.

 

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