David Freed is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, a pilot and an expert on world affairs and he combines his knowledge in his first mystery Flat Spin. Filled with colorful characters, lots of humor, clever dialog and vivid descriptions of flying and of places, this book pulls you in from the first page. Cordell Logan is a retired black ops agent trying to earn a living as a flight instructor and making an attempt to follow the teachings of Buddha–not always with much success. Logan’s ex-wife asks him to track down her husband’s killer–a job complicated by the fact that this was the man that stole Savannah from him. With an intriguing plot, a fast-paced story line, a unique main character and laugh-out-loud moments, this is an exceptional debut mystery–hopefully there will be many more novels featuring Cordell Logan, his aging plane and his adventures!
By Janene Hill, Young Adult Librarian
Since 2003, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has released an annual list of nominees for the Teens’ Top Ten (TTT) List. The TTT is a “teen choice” honor list as chosen by teens throughout the country.
This year’s list contains 24 nominated titles, chosen by teen book groups from school and public libraries around the country, which nominate their favorite books of the previous year. Nominations are posted in April during National Library Week.
Teens are encouraged to read these titles throughout the summer, then vote for them during late August and early September. Winning titles will be announced via webcast during Teen Read Week, the third week of October.
Encouraging teens to read these books and take part in the voting not only is an easy way to find recommended titles, but gives teens a sense of inclusion in choosing the “best of the best” as chosen by their peers.
Using the TTT nominees as a catalyst, parents and caregivers can help get teens excited about reading and make time for their teens to read at home.
Studies show a regular reading habit makes teens better readers. YALSA president, Sarah Flowers, recently stated that “today’s teens seem to have less and less free time, and there are increasingly more activities for them to take part in during what little leisure time they have. That is why it’s important to encourage teens to set aside some time to read.”
YALSA has created a list of many ways parents or caregivers can encourage teen reading. Some ideas include:
· Set aside a regular weekly or daily time for the family to read.
· Make reading aloud a family activity. Read to your kids as long as they’ll let you.
· Read the same books as a family. Talk about them afterward. Allow each person in the family to have a chance to choose the reading material.
· Share your favorite book with your teen.
· Model reading for pleasure. Talk with your children about what you’re reading; make your enthusiasm for reading obvious to them. Explain how reading gives you pleasure while helping you learn about life and the world.
· When a movie based on a book is released, read the book first. Then go to the movie together or rent the video. Afterward, talk about how the two compare.
· If some kids don’t like to read or have difficulty reading, let them listen to audiobooks.
· Visit the public or school library with your teen to attend a program or to check out materials.
Manhattan Public Library has copies of all of the TTT nominees, there are multiple copies of several, and some are also available in an audiobook version.
This year’s TTT finalists include:
All Good Children by Catherine Austen; Ashes by Ilsa Bick; Abandon by Meg Cabot; Tempest by Julie Cross; What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen; Wither by Lauren DStefano; Where She Went by Gayle Forman; Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen; Eona: The Last Dragoneye by Alison Goodman; The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge; Legend by Marie Lu; Hourglass by Myra McEntire; Cinder by Marissa Meyer; Shine by Lauren Myracle; A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness; This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel; Across the Universe by Beth Revis; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs; Divergent by Veronica Roth; Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys; The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater; How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr; All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin
I love the Olympics. In fact, some might call me slightly obsessed! So, I was looking for a good running book to get ready for all those track and field events. I came across The Perfect Mile by Neal Bascomb, and it is the perfect book to get you geared up for the Olympics. Although not about the Olympics per say, it is a great glimpse into the training and competitive drive it takes to be a world class runner. The Perfect Mile is about the race to become the first person in history to break the four minute mile barrier. In the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, three runners from three different continents had disappointing performances. After returning home, each, for different reasons, decided he was going to be the first to run the mile in under four minutes. All three faced their own personal obstacles. John Landy of Australia had no coach and extremely poor track conditions to race on. Englishman Roger Bannister was in medical school and had extremely limited time for training. The American, Wes Santee, had to put his KU teammates above himself which left little time to focus on perfecting the mile. Not to mention, the three men were true amateurs, receiving no rich sponsorship deals or any kind of money for their races, even though their races attracted huge amounts of fans and generated lots of money for others. Each man was aware the others were all gunning to be the first one to break the barrier, so the pressure was on. Even though I knew the eventual outcome, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book one bit, and I would definitely recommend this book to all athletes or sports fans out there.
In the third book of the Corduroy Mansions series, Freddie de la Hay, the devoted canine who attached himself to William French is missing. While visiting William’s old school friend and his wife, Freddie follows the irresistible scent of rabbit and digs himself into trouble which involves a possible new home and life for Freddie. Meanwhile his master is in his own hot water when the wife of his best friend announces her secret long-held love of William. Free-loading Eddie has found someone to take care of him he thinks, but Barbara with all of her inherited money may have doubts. Other quirky characters charm us with their foibles and we continue to anticipate further antics in this London setting.
I’ve been a Brad Paisley fan for awhile. I plowed through all of his CDs at the library and had to buy a few of my own. So it wasn’t a surprise that I had to pick up this book, but it turned out to be even more than I thought it would be. Diary of a Player is Paisley’s memoir of his life as a guitar player, with bits about the rest of his life sprinkled in. I have never in my life played a guitar, so I was a bit tentative. He writes about his guitar influences like his grandfather who gave him his first guitar and the old guys who formed his first band, sharing how these guitar players from his early years helped him develop as a player and as a human being. He emphasizes how music threads through the generations, connecting the past with the future and how playing the guitar has provided him with an outlet for all the joys and sorrows of life, as well as a refuge from the world. This enjoyable book made me an even bigger Paisley fan, but it also changed the way I listen to and think about music.
Ellen, the hypnotist, is in love with a widower that is being stalked by his last love. Saskia, the stalker, cannot let Patrick and his son Jack go. She spent three years of her life raising Patrick’s son from a toddler. How could he just say it’s over. Saskia won’t let Patrick get by with pushing her out of his life. Ellen, is intrigued with Saskia’s behavior, but when she shows up at the foot of her bed in the middle of the night, that is just a little bit too bizarre. Patrick’s love for his first wife, Colleen, seems to still be fresh. Ellen isn’t sure she can compete with his sentiment for her. Will Ellen be able to live with a stalker pursuing their every move and the fact that Patrick hasn’t left his first love behind? The Hypnotist’s Love Story, set in Australia, is an intriguing read, with several interesting characters in the sidelines.
Intisar is Alif’s lover, and when she leaves him for an arranged marriage to a prince, Alif does what any talented computer geek would do (okay, probably not true). He writes a program to identify Intisar from wherever she accesses the internet and then hides himself from her online. The Hand, head of State online security, breaches Alif’s security and steals this program.
It turns out Intisar’s fiance is the Hand, and he now knows about their relationship. Alif is forced to go on the run, along with his childhood friend, Dina. They also have in their possession the only known copy of the Thousand and One Days. A book of the jinn that the Hand desperately wants. The jinn’s metaphorical way of thinking has profound implications for information technology, and the Hand wants to harness this new method for his own ends. Alif must seek aid from beings he didn’t believe existed, namely the jinn as they exist in the Qur’an, in order to save himself and his friends.
Luanne Rice excels at creating stories about love and family relationships and Little Night is no exception. Clare and her sister Anne are very close as sisters, bonding together in the face of abusive and distant parents. Anne meets and marries an artist from Denmark, not realizing until after the marriage that he is controlling and domineering. Her husband forbids her to see Clare and they lose contact for several years. Clare finally takes matters in her own hands and shows up at Anne’s home, where she meets her niece and nephew and sees that Anne has been physically abused by her husband. She convinces Anne to leave with her but before they can escape, Frederik returns home. Clare tries to protect Anne when she is attacked by Frederik but is charged with assault, jailed, and sentenced to a prison term. In that split second, Clare’s life is changed forever. After her release, she makes a life for herself in New York City, writing a nature blog and leading birding tours in Central park and around the city, but she keeps friends and family at a distance. Her niece Grit contacts her and they begin to build a relationship, beginning a new life for Clare and opening her heart to love and relationships. This is a touching novel about the pervasive effects of violence and abuse in families, and is both a thoughtful and hopeful story.
One of my favorite summer aromas is that of beef, chicken, or pork cooking on the grill. With the 4th of July coming up, you may be looking for that perfect holiday menu. Maybe you have a special occasion to plan and want to prepare a scrumptious feast from the grill. You will find a jackpot of grilling cookbook options on the shelf at Manhattan Public Library. Whether you want hamburgers, hotdogs, steak, or something gourmet, there is a book that will get you started.
Even beginner outdoor cooks will find help for grilling up a great meal. Steven Raichlen’s How to Grill, or The Cook’s Illustrated Guide to Grilling and Barbecue are perfect matches for those of you who are new to grilling. Weber’s Way to Grill gives step-by-step instruction, great visuals, and mouthwatering photos to help you move up to more complicated cooking in no time. A few of the most popular barbecuing books for grilling are Wicked Good Barbecue by Andy Husbands, Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens Grill It!: Secrets to Delicious Flame-Kissed Food, and the Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook: Barbeque…it’s not just for breakfast anymore. You will find just the right book for your taste and occasion.
Grilling isn’t only for meat; you can have fun cooking the whole meal on the grill. You may just want to veg out with some scrumptious vegetable recipes, especially now that gardens are overflowing with fresh produce. Look for specialty grilling techniques in The Gardener & the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill by Karen Adler & Judith Fertig. In this gardener’s delight, you’ll find seasoning mixes and sauces to enhance the flavor of the fresh garden veggies you choose to grill, recipes to try, plus helpful hints and advice. Adler & Fertig say, “Sometimes, to get a certain flavor and texture from foods, you’ll want to go beyond basic grilling. Your grill can perform many of the same cooking functions as your indoor stovetop and oven, such as searing, stir-frying, planking, and roasting. The grill just gives the food you cook outdoors more flavor.” Try Cookouts Veggie Style! by Jolinda Hackett for “225 backyard favorites—full of flavor, free of meat!” Those garden vegetables are just begging to be grilled to bring out their full flavor and tantalize your taste buds.
Cooking meat, vegetables and even fruit on the grill is a common practice, but pizza? Why not! Craig Priebe’s book, Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas, and Pizza on the Grill by Elizabeth Karmel are in the library’s collection. Elizabeth says, “If you have a grill and the will, you can master grilled pizza. The essence of grilled pizza is unquestionably its crispy, slightly smoky crust.” Both books have delectable illustrations that are sure to persuade you to try pizza grilled to perfection.
If you haven’t jumped out of your chair and headed for the library to get your favorite recipes for the grill, maybe this added tidbit will do the trick. Let your taste buds do the traveling by cooking up grilled dishes with the taste of Italy, Japan, the Mediterranean, Australia, the Caribbean, Latin, or the American Southwest. Books like Jerk from Jamaica or Latin Grilling can help your taste buds get on the international by-way.
For calorie counters and dollar pinchers, you’ll want to place a request on this soon-to-be available book Grill This, Not That: Backyard Survival Guide by David Zinczenko. He tells you how to cut calories and save money, while at the same time leaving all the flavors intact.
To find other books on grilling, go to library web site and search the catalog with a keyword search using the terms: grill; grilling; barbecue; or barbecuing. You should get about a hundred hits on each one of them. Grab a few of the many grilling books from the shelf, and find the recipes that will have your neighbors hanging over the fence wishing for an invite!