Can’t wait for the fourth season of The Walking Dead to start? Here are some novels and graphic novels to sustain you for the next week as we wait to find out what is going down at the prison. Continue reading
Best friends, Charlotte and Nicole, couldn’t be more different. Charlotte is single and travels the world writing articles for magazines, while Nicole is a doctor’s wife that loves all things domestic. Charlotte agrees to come back to the states and help Nicole write a cookbook centered on the foods of an island off the Maine coast, their childhood summer retreat. Nicole has been tasked by her husband to hide the fact that he has MS. His career as a surgeon could end if the word gets out. Recently his disease is progressing quickly and decisions must be made about experimental treatments. A secret that Charlotte holds from Nicole becomes a possible answer to Julian’s MS.
Another storyline revolves around Charlotte’s engagement with Leo, a badboy islander who may not be quite what his reputation leads her to believe. Sweet Salt Air is a lovely story about the struggles and beauty of long standing friendships and how we need to negotiate life with those around us as we learn to love each other.
In his latest novel Tell No Lies, author Hurwitz has written a thriller filled with nonstop action and suspense. Daniel Brasher is a psychiatrist who counsels a group of ex-convicts, trying to help them change the behaviors that landed them in prison. He is from a wealthy San Francisco family and his socialite mother resents his work and his marriage to Cristina, who works with the poor on housing issues. Daniel comes across an envelopes in his work mailbox that are addressed to someone else, threatening the recipients unless they admit guilt. As Daniel checks into the letters, he finds that the people that the letters are addressed to have been murdered. As he tries to connect the people and find the killer, Daniel finds himself in receipt of one of the letters that threaten his life. He begins to suspect the ex-convicts in his group and must uncover the killer and their motive before anyone else is killed.
This is an intense, fast-paced story about ordinary people being placed in extraordinary circumstances. With likeable, multi-faceted characters and a strong sense of place–San Francisco’s beautiful and gritty areas are both described in detail–this is a novel that will draw the reader into the plot from the beginning.
In my opinion, the approaching October requires a different kind of reading than your typical beachy reads of the summer–something a little melancholy, but still with a little bit of levity. If this sort of book sounds appealing, then check out Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish by the recently deceased David Rakoff. Continue reading
Manhattan Public Library is one of four libraries in Kansas selected to participate in an innovative program coordinated by the State Library of Kansas, under the national Gigabit Libraries Network’s Libraries Super-Wi-Fi Pilot. The pilot project will test the ability to provide library Wi-Fi hot spots in different areas of the community using unlicensed TV white-space technology. The project is progressing and will be activated in the upcoming months. We look forward to sharing more news with you as the project develops.
More information may be found at http://www.kslib.info/kansans/kansas-k20-librarians-white-space-pilot.html
Stealing the Preacher was a fun read, one I did not want to take a break from.
Joanna’s father, an ex-outlaw for the last sixteen years, holds up a train to get Joanna the birthday present she has asked for. When her father shows up with a “preacher man”, Jo is embarrassed but hopeful. Her mother’s dying wish was for her to continue praying to find a way for her father to get right with God. Jo’s only hope was to have the community church open back up with a man of God to lead it. But would a man pulled from his own agenda want to stay to start a church.
Silas only wanted to give his daughter what she wanted. This “preacher man” wasn’t anything like any other he’d ever encountered in his life time. This man was a working man and not one to take any guff either. But a childhood experience had soured him to any man toting a Bible.
Archer only wanted to attain the position at the church in Brenham. The unexpected delay may cause him to lose out to another. But just maybe God has other plans for him.
Susan Withee, Adult Services Department Manager
In recent years, as part of a unique university-military community partnership, Kansas State University and Fort Riley have collaborated each fall to celebrate “A Season of Service”, an annual effort addressing “mission critical needs of campus, military, family and community.” Again this year, the KSU Office of Military Affairs and the Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families will offer programs and events throughout September and October. This year’s focus is on the challenges that military and families face in the transition and reintegration process
On October 17, the Season of Service will bring Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Finkel to Manhattan for several programs, including an author appearance and book-signing event at 11:00 a.m. at Manhattan Public Library. Books will be available for purchase at the event.
David Finkel is a journalist and author whose most recent book, “Thank You for Your Service”, chronicles the challenges faced by American soldiers and their families in the aftermath of war. Finkel’s previous book, “The Good Soldiers”, was a bestselling, critically acclaimed account of the “surge” during the Iraq War, during which Finkel was deployed with Fort Riley’s 2-16/1ID in Baghdad.
We at the library are proud to serve hundreds of active-duty military and their families as a critical community constituency, so in addition to David Finkel’s books the library offers a comprehensive collection of resources about and for military families. Here is just a sample of what is available from Manhattan Public Library. Continue reading
For some strange reason, this little-known book by a new author shot to the top of the best-seller lists this summer and our hold list has not yet recovered. Is it as good as the author’s previous works? That’s up for debate, but Cuckoo’s Crossing has received good reviews and is worth the read if you like a good mystery.
If you need something while you’re waiting on the hold list, or if you’ve read it and want something similar, here are a few titles you might enjoy.
In Tonight I Said Goodbye by Michael Koryta, private investigators Lincoln Perry and Joe Pritchard are hired to investigate an apparent murder/suicide, with the primary problem being that the supposed murder victims are no where to be found. This debut novel won the Private Eye Writers of America Prize for Best First Private Eye Novel.
Private detective Brodie Jackson starts to see connecting threads between three seemingly distinct cases in Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. A tight mystery with a humorous off-beat detective will keep you coming back for more.
In Hardcase by Dan Simmons, Joe Kurtz has just been released from prison but quickly resumes PI work in this dark hardboiled crime thriller. Ignoring his parole officer, Joe manages to encounter the brother of the man he murdered, a black Muslim Group, along with the mob in this action-packed tale.
You can find more read-alikes for your favorite authors at our website.
This extraordinary novel by Gayle Forman provokes thoughts about life and death, family, relationships and love. Mia is a high school senior and excels at the cello. Her family is close and loving and music touches all of their lives. Mia’s boyfriend Adam is also a musician, in a punk rock band. On a day off school and work due to snow, the family decides to have a fun day together–a day which begins as an adventure and turns to tragedy after an auto accident. Mia must make a choice–to stay or leave her earthly life. Will her future experiences in life be worth the pain of living without the family she loves?
Alternating between the present and the past, Mia’s life story is told, offering insights into her thoughts, emotions and relationships.The characters in this story are well-drawn, with depth and sensitivity. This is a powerful, heartbreaking and beautifully told story, filled with lyrical prose much like Mia’s cello music. If I Stay is a novel that will stay in your heart for a long time and is a Young Adult novel that will appeal to young and old alike. If you enjoy this book, you might also enjoy The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
Vladimir Nabokov once said, “Curiously enough, one cannot read a book; one can only reread it.” Re-reading books is a unique pleasure, particularly with long-loved books. For me, I will never get tired of reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, or Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. However, there are newer books that are re-reading classics in the making. Here are a few that I have already found myself turning to a second (or third) time. Continue reading
When Ivy Madison moves to Deep Haven, she is at home. She came to fulfill the new assistant county attorney position, and nothing could ever make her want to leave. At her first community event, she bids on the wrong bachelor by accident, Darek Christiansen. Although Darek is handsome enough, he is also wounded and angry about the death of his wife at the hand of his best friend Jensen.
Jensen, driver of the vehicle that struck Felicity, was sentenced to three years of community service among the hostile citizens of Deep Haven who thought he deserved to be in jail. The trouble is, Ivy was the one who plea bargained to keep Jensen out of jail. When Darek finds out her part in keeping Jensen in Deep Haven, will he hate her and if he does will she be able to stay? Take a Chance on Me is about family, overcoming, forgiveness, and love.
By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager
Everyone knows that libraries have storytimes so young children can hear good stories read aloud. People who have attended storytimes know that, in addition to stories, children will learn action rhymes, songs and even dance moves. It is all great fun and leads to enjoyment of books and the library. That alone may be reason enough to present ten storytimes or more each week at our library, but there is actually more to it than that.
Public libraries have a strong connection to early childhood education and “early literacy,” a term that does not mean learning to read early, but instead refers to the skills children master in preparation for learning to read when they are older. It begins with babies – hearing language spoken and sung, touching our mouths as we speak, and beginning to recognize shapes and images. Babies love books. They love to look at them, hear the words, chew on them, rip their pages. Books are full of wonderment! A father in the library recently told me he got a kick out of his daughter, who is just a few months old, because she is such a book critic. He can open the page of a new board book to her laughter or her cries – she shares her opinions openly.
But we know we need to be reading to our young children, and talking to them and playing with them. How do these simple exercises translate into reading success?
The American Library Association (ALA) did extensive research into this topic several years ago and launched a nationwide program for librarians called “Every Child Ready to Read.” The research showed six early literacy skills that were key to children’s ability to learn to read when they got to school. Not surprisingly, many of these skills have been a part of storytimes for ages. Knowing the research, terminology and results associated with specific skills has helped us hone in on the activities that are best for early literacy. Additionally, we can easily pass this knowledge on to parents who attend our programs so their efforts at home are reinforced and encouraged.
Johnson County Public Library took ALA’s somewhat wordy program and transformed it into a fun, user-friendly version they called “6 by 6″ – six skills kids need to know by the time they are ready to read around the age of six. The State Library of Kansas adopted the 6 by 6 program, making it accessible to every library in the state (
The six skills are:
1. Have fun with books (print motivation)
2. Notice print all around you (print awareness)
3. Talk, talk, talk (vocabulary)
4. Look for letters everywhere (letter knowledge)
5. Tell stories about everything (narrative skills)
6. Take time to rhyme (phonological awareness)
In addition to weekly storytimes, we have been incorporating early literacy skills into fun 6 by 6 activity stations available in the children’s room all the time. Our 6 by 6 stations include games, puzzles, felt boards and dress-up items that revolve around a picture book. We recently had an Early Literacy Activity Day during which we set up several of the past stations in our auditorium and let children enjoy all the fun books and toys.
This month, our 6 by 6 station features “Giggle, Giggle, Quack!” by Doreen Cronin, a fun farmyard follow up to her popular book, “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type.” Customers who have some time to spend in our space can read the book together on one of our cozy chairs, then use farm animal finger puppets and the barn puppet stage to retell it to each other. Children can play and learn by acting out the story, comparing different letter fonts, creating a felt pizza with toppings, matching animals with their sounds, searching for notes left by Duck and bathing a pig!
These engaging activities will be available in the Children’s Room through October. Librarians change the books and activities every two months, coming up with new and creative ways for children to explore language and stories.
In the first book in this trilogy, Adrenaline, (2011), CIA agent Sam Capra’s colleagues were killed in a bomb blast, his wife and child were abducted, and Sam was accused of committing treason. Now, desperate to find his son, Sam agrees to work for an enigmatic group called the Round Table, whose members claim to have vital information that can lead Sam to the boy. The kidnappers have offered a deadly deal. They will return his son if Sam finds the one man who can expose them and murder him. Sam is a likable, morally conflicted hero in a difficult situation. Will he? Thanks to Abbott’s skills as a storyteller we can’t tell whether Sam will commit murder to find his son. Reminiscent of Robert Ludlum, The Last Minute is the second book in a trilogy, which began with Adrenaline (reviewed in an earlier blog). Follow Sam through a third breathtaking adventure in Downfall.
A fun light read set in London! Issy Randall a typical 8-5 office worker, who rides the bus to work and shares her flat with Helena, an emergency nurse. Issy has a thing for her boss, and he seems to have a thing for her– at times. Helena thinks she is crazy to keep going back to Graeme who doesn’t want the people at work to know about their relationship.
With a layoff at work, Issy is given severance pay which she uses to fulfill her life time ambition– to own her own bakery as her grandfather had. Of course Graeme thinks she will fail and come crawling back to him, but when the banker Austin comes into the picture Issy’s love life may take a new turn.
Issy struggles with her new establishment, the Cupcake Café, where she becomes very innovative in making sure that it succeeds. Her grandfather, now in a nursing home, sends her luscious sounding recipes for sweets along with his quirky instructions. (They really do sound wonderful, although I have not tried any of them yet.) Meet me at the Cupcake Café has several interesting characters including the ironmonger who resides next door. Watch out! You may find your mouth watering for cakes and your mind wandering to London.
In The Arrangement, the second book in her Survivors Club series (The Proposal is the first), Mary Balogh has created a sweet and charming romance. Vincent has been blinded in war and has escaped to his cottage, away from his sisters and mother, to avoid their smothering and matchmaking. A kind and caring man, Vincent dreams of being more independent. Sophia has had a difficult life, knowing little love or affection from family. At a local gathering, Sophia finds herself in the position of rescuing Vincent from a husband-hunting cousin but is punished by being banished by her home. Vincent comes to her rescue and proposes and arrangement. As these two characters come to understand each other and as their relationship grows, they offer each other love, respect and independence. Mary Balogh is a master at creating characters are likeable, appealing and believable and stories that are touching and filled with both humor and romance. (Don’t let the cheesy cover prevent you from reading this one!) If you enjoy books by Mary Balogh, you might also like Mary Jo Putney or Jo Beverley.