Wednesday, August 10, 2016

[Book Review] The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey

Science Fiction

Marilyn reviews THE WHITE DRAGON (Dragonriders of Pern #3) by Anne McCaffrey (Ballantine Books, 1978)


Jaxon is a boy on the brink of manhood in a world that is under a great threat. The planet of Pern has been invaded by a creature from space called Thread. In order to fight Thread, dragons are used in this imaginary world created by author Anne McCaffrey. Although the reader meets Jaxon in earlier volumes of the series, The White Dragon chronicles his becoming a leader. Anne McCaffrey also creates a loyal companion for Jaxon in Ruth, the white dragon. As Jaxon grows into manhood his relationship with Ruth deepens into a stronger bond of loyalty for each other.
The White Dragon is the third book in a series of science fiction novels that take place in Pern. I enjoyed the book because it had mystery, romance, and dragons. A reader who has not read the previous two books can easily follow Pern’s politics and benefit from McCaffrey’s use of brief explanations and background information.


Marilyn Umfress, Central Library

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Thursday, August 04, 2016

[Book Review] Falling by Jane Green

Fiction/Chick Lit

Andrea reviews FALLING by Jane Green (Berkley Books, 2016)

Emma Montague has always been a quiet introvert. She would much rather be in the corner reading a book instead of being at a party. She was part of the hustle and bustle of New York banking for too long when she realized she was craving a more subdued and quiet lifestyle. Answering an ad for a rental house in Westport, Connecticut, Emma thinks this may be the answer she has been looking for. The house itself is horribly dated but Emma realizes its potential, especially since her most attractive landlord, Dominic DiFranco, lives right next door.

Time passes and Emma and Dominic find themselves more and more in love, and Emma is smitten with Dominic’s young son, Jesse. Even though Emma and Dominic couldn’t be any more different, the two are inseparable and even start thinking about becoming a family unit with Jesse. While Emma and Dominic are getting closer each day, they are thrown some major curve balls as all couples are.

Everything seems idyllic for the couple until it isn’t. Experiencing the worst kind of loss, Emma must go on without Dominic.

This is a heartbreaking story about all the ups and downs of true love; readers will learn that true friends are the family we make for ourselves.

Andrea Bledsoe King, Cordova Library

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

[Book Review] The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

This title is one of many e-books available through the Memphis Public Library's extensive e-book and e-audio book collection.
Visit the Memphis Library Overdrive page to browse, reserve, and check out items for free.


Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy

Linda reviews THE RAVEN KING (The Raven Cycle, #4)  by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press, 2014)


Wow! Maggie Stiefvater has done it again!


The Raven King wraps up the story that began when Blue Sargent saw a boy named Gansey in the death march almost a year before. What's happened since has been a unique and amazing ride of quests for kings, magical forests, dreams, curses, but mostly, some of the most amazing characters I've ever encountered, and simply, brilliant writing!

As with all the other books in the series, it is best to take your time and absorb every word because each one was carefully chosen and there is new meaning to be found with each re-read. And, let's face it, she writes some of the best quotable passages and one-liners around! There is really no way to describe the scope of the story or the strange and magical things that occur within it. It is best just to say that Maggie is a master at what she does.

Linda Wong, Bartlett Library

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

[Book Review] Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

Fiction/Suspense


Andrea reviews DON'T YOU CRY by Mary Kubica (Mira Books, 2016)
Quinn Collins always admitted she was never the perfect roommate. She did not mean to only pay forty percent of the electric bill or be habitually short with her half of the rent. But it was hard to compare her to her roommate, whom Quinn dubbed “Saint Esther.” When Esther’s blaring alarm clock woke up Quinn on a Sunday morning, she went to rouse Esther but found her GONE! When Quinn tells Ben, a mutual friend of hers and Esther’s that Esther is missing, he is much more helpful than the authorities. But more and more weirdness ensued because it seemed Esther wanted to kill Quinn or else have her killed.

Meanwhile across town, Alex Gallo, the busboy in a local café’, found himself smitten with a stranger in town. Having her best interests at heart, Alex brought food, warm clothes, and a kerosene heater to the rundown house where she was “squatting.” Never telling Alex her name, the stranger assured him that she considered him a good friend. As he got closer to her, he found her behavior more and more bizarre.
       
Eventually, Alex and Quinn found themselves fighting to stay alive because of Esther and the stranger’s actions. Although neither had met, Alex and Quinn did have a connection through this stranger. Readers will know there was something not quite right, but it won’t be until the very end that all the pieces will fall into place.
       
Welcome to the world of Mary Kubica novels.

Andrea Bledsoe King, Cordova Branch

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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

[Author Obit] Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)


Holocaust survivor and author of over sixty books, Elie Wiesel, passed away at the age of 87 on Saturday July 2, 2016.

From CNN:  
"Wiesel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, recounted his family being sent to the Nazi concentration camps in his first book, "Night," which was published in 1955." (Full article)


From NPR:
"Elie Wiesel was called many things during his life: a messenger of peace, a humanitarian, a survivor. He liked to call himself simply a witness. And as a witness, he said, it was his duty to never let those who suffered be forgotten." (Full article)

Other sites of interest:
The Elie Wiesel Foundation

Elie Wiesel - Nobel Peace Prize 1986 
(Wiesel's Nobel acceptance speech, lecture, interview) 



Browse the library catalog holdings for the works of ELIE WIESEL








(Author image credit)




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Thursday, June 30, 2016

[Book Review] 2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Each month library staff members learn about different genres during "What's Your Flavor," a series of Reader's Advisory classes. After each session participants must select a book from that genre to read and profile.



Science Fiction Genre Spotlight

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY by Arthur C. Clarke



“Open the pod doors, HAL.”


Arthur C. Clarke is one of the masters of scientific science fiction, and 2001 is a masterpiece of early science fiction. Clarke collaborated with the filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick, and the product was obviously a film and a book, both released in 1968. The movie is landmark because computer graphics were introduced on screen. Without 2001 there would never have been a Star Wars.  The book is landmark because it explores A.I. (artificial intelligence) in the “character” HAL, the computer on board the space craft. As a joke, HAL is one letter off of IBM.

The basic plot is as follows:  apes who will evolve into man are dying out. A monolith appears and teaches the apes how to kill so that they will survive. Move forward to the present where a monolith discovered on the moon proves to be millions of years old. The said monolith sends a signal to Saturn, and the “odyssey” of the space ship Discovery One begins with the journey to Saturn where astronaut David Bowman is transported through a monolith (an interstellar gateway) to an alien world where he is transformed into the “star child,” a “savior” or an overseer of earth. The aliens, whoever they are, are “god-like” and are again “saving” the human race.



Susan Berry, Parkway Village Library

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

UPCOMING HOLIDAY CLOSING MONDAY JULY 4, 2016



LIBRARY CLOSED 

All locations of the Memphis Public Library & Information Center will be closed for Independence Day on Monday July 4, 2016. 
 
Customers have the option of  reserving or renewing books by going to
www.memphislibrary.org or calling 452-2047. The Library’s website also offers several resources customers can use anytime—24 hours a day—seven days a week.   E-books and downloadable audio books, magazines, and music can be checked-out for free; online databases contain searchable newspaper and magazine articles, reference books and more; and blogs and newsletters on everything from fiction bestsellers to travel can be read on the web.


Monday, June 13, 2016

[Books in a Bag] Spotlight on Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes has been adapted into a feature film now showing in local movie theaters. 

Book clubs can request this title from the library through our Books in a Bag service. The book club kit comes with ten copies of the novel plus discussion questions, a better way to compare and share thoughts about the novel and the film. 

Search the library catalog for Me Before You  or reserve the book club kit.

Summary of Me Before You: 

A New York Times bestseller-with more than one million copies sold-by the author of The Girl You Left Behind 

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life-steady boyfriend, close family-who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life-big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel-and now he's pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy-but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn't have less in common-a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

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