This Saturday, season 2 of Outlander premieres on Starz. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander book series is one of our most popular series at the library–I can verify that it circulates a lot–and the television series based on it is so popular that ending up on a wait list for it is virtually guaranteed. (You can follow this link to our catalog if you’re interested in requesting the books or show.)
In what I hope is one of the more enjoyable requirements of the 2016 Library Challenge, participants are asked to read a funny book. We’re celebrating humorous reads all month long at the Berryville Public Library, with a display up front that highlights humorous essays, memoirs, and other things sure to make you laugh (or at least think about the power of a laugh).
We have a lot of great books written by humor writers, including all of David Sedaris’s books and many Dave Barry books, but we also have some others in our collection that you may not be aware of. As always, if you’re interested in any of these books, please check out our online catalog to learn more about availability and to place holds.
Here at the library, we’ve been getting into the spirit of March Madness by making brackets, and that prompted me to start thinking about one of the 2016 Library Challenges: read a book that is over 100 years old. I suspect that for those of you who are participating–and even those of you who are not–reading that challenge either filled you with a palpable sense of dread or it made you positively giddy that you’d be revisiting one of your old favorites. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed from working in the library, as well as taking literature classes, it’s that there are two types of people in the world–there are those who love 19th century literature and those who do not.
When it comes to recommending 500+ page books, I decided to avoid what is perhaps the most obvious solution to the problem—19th century classics, which regularly top out at well over 500 pages. Instead, I decided to focus on much more recent books that qualify for this category, simply because I’m assuming many readers will already be familiar with a lot of those classics, even ones they’ve never personally read.
In conducting my research, I learned that many contemporary books that are this long fall into one of two categories—literary fiction or fantasy. And, sometimes, they’re literary fiction with fantastical elements or fantasy with literary elements. In any event, I tried to find a little bit of something to appeal to everyone.
As always, follow this link to our online catalog to learn more about any of these books or to place them on hold.
Dolores Claiborne is a hardworking, tough talking housekeeper for an elderly woman on an island just off the coast of Maine. She’s been accused of killing her employer by shoving her down the stairs, and Dolores has her work cut out for her, explaining why she is, in fact, innocent of that crime, though she readily admits she did murder her husband thirty years earlier. Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne is the protagonist’s chapterless confession of what drove her to murder her husband and also an explanation for why she didn’t murder her employer, Vera, despite having several good reasons for doing so.
[Usually blog posts are written by Shirley, Berryville’s library services associate, but today we have a special treat–a guest review written by Tiffany Newton, the director of the Green Forest Public Library. She’s reviewing Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore for us!]
“Walking the stacks in a library, dragging your fingers across the spines — it’s hard not to feel the presence of sleeping spirits.”–Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.
Do you love books? Quests with wizards, rogues, and warriors? Do you love code-breaking? What about ancient conspiracies? Living Forever? Modern Technology? 3D Printing? Rock Climbing? Computer Animation? Late nights spent reading your favorite childhood novel? Audio Books? Knitting?
What do all those things have in common? Well, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan takes all those amazing things and mixes them into one page-turner.
Since the 1980s, people have been celebrating the concept of π–the mathematical ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, which is always a constant 3.14 –on March 14th. Sorry to subject you to math lessons early in the morning.
I’m not entirely sure what people gifted in mathematical ability do to celebrate Pi Day because I was an English/history major for a reason. But someone in my classes always brought a pie to class on Pi Day, so I was always a fan of this holiday. I’m not going to argue with any train of thought that results in free pie.
Since I can’t deliver a pie to you through the internet, I thought I might instead offer a list of suggestions for this year’s challenge to “Read a book with a number in the title.”
A quick answer to this question would be to just read one of the many books in either James Patterson’s Woman’s Murder Club series or Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, both of which always feature numbers in the title.
However, there are a lot of other books in our system that also work for this category, so let’s explore a few of them. As always, if you’re interested in learning more about them, follow this link to our online catalog.