Guest Blogger–LeAnn Stark

[Last month, Green Forest’s library director, Tiffany Newton, was kind enough to write a review for Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. It was an incredibly popular post, and we’re excited to continue the Guest Blogger series with a new post from LeAnn Stark, the assistant librarian at Green Forest. ]

My New Favorite Women Sleuths

  Early detectives have mainly been male, with a few exceptions–Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple being the most famous.  Recently I discovered 3 authors, Laurie R. King, Jaqueline Winspear and Susan Elia MacNeal, with strong female private investigators. They were inspired by real-life stories from the women who pitched in during the 2 great world wars. While thousands of men were fighting, women found themselves filling in jobs that had previously been deemed unacceptable to them: building ships, aircraft, and tanks, delivering milk and coal and other supplies, driving ambulances, and much more. After the wars were over, many women didn’t want to return to the old restricted ways. Some had to keep working, due to a lack of men lost in the wars. These 3 authors do a wonderful job of exploring these issues.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book That Might Make You Cry

Last week, we looked at books that make you laugh, so this time, I figured we might as well look at the exact opposite–a book that might make you cry.

Now, depending on how given you are to crying while reading, this challenge could be really hard or really easy.

I don’t usually cry when reading (or watching movies or actually much in general), even if the scene is very sad, and when I do cry , it’s usually at some odd scene that’s probably not supposed to be the one that makes you cry. So, it’s probably just as well that, rather than crying, I am more likely to respond to sad books by just feeling incredibly hollow and depressed for days afterward. But every now and then, a book will make me sob uncontrollably.

And so to honor sad books, here’s a round-up of books that might make you cry. As always, be sure to check our online catalog for more details.

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Discussion Thread: Outlander

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.)

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2016 Library Challenge: A Funny Book

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.

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2016 Library Challenge–A Book Over 100 Years Old

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.

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2016 Library Challenge: A Book Over 500 Pages Long

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.

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Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne

Dolores Claiborne

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.

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