Every December, hundreds of librarians from across the country vote for their favorite books of the year. This year’s picks include a romance in which the heroine’s fiercely career-driven outlook doesn’t get sacrificed for her love interest, a genetic scifi thriller, and a locked-room mystery set in an upscale hotel.
Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.
Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city.
Every month, librarians from across the country pick 10 upcoming new releases that they’re especially excited to read. This month’s selections include the story of a woman who defies the odds to become a chemist in the 1960s, a heist novel that wonders – is it really stealing if it was stolen from you in the first place?, and a collection of science fiction stories from acclaimed musician, actress, and now author Janelle Monáe.
In the 50s and early 60s when women were viewed as little more than chattel for men’s convenience, Elizabeth Zott had the temerity to become a chemist. With complex and wonderful characters, her story is funny, sad, enraging, hopeful, and will have readers cheering for every character and all women everywhere. For fans of Where’d You Go Bernadette?, The Rosie Project, and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. —Judy G. Sebastian, Eastham Public Library
Every month, librarians from across the country pick the 10 upcoming releases they’re most excited to read. This month’s picks include a thriller set in Paris, a story about “the other woman” in Agatha Christie’s marriage, two queer romances, and a mystery revolving around the theft of a Stradivarius violin.
Foley hits it out of the ballpark with this solid thriller set in a Paris apartment building. Jess goes looking for her brother, but finds only the smell of bleach and a broken St. Christopher medal lodged in the floorboards. Written in short chapters with multiple points of view and delicious secrets dropped along the way, this gripping, wild ride is impossible to put down. If you like Liane Moriarty or Ruth Ware, pick this one up. —LibraryReads review by Douglas Beatty, Baltimore County Public Library
The American Library Association recently announced the winners of the 2022 Youth Media Awards. Materials for children and teens were selected by committees of literature and media specialists under different categories for their excellence. I’ve listed some of these remarkable award winners below with their publisher’s summary, and also included links to our catalog so you can reserve your copies today! Scroll to the end of the post for a link to the full list of this year’s award recipients.
Every December, hundreds of librarians from across the country vote for their favorite books of the year. This year’s picks include a thriller about what happens to the survivors after the credits roll in a horror flick, a historical novel about an abandoned mother who works to save her family during the Dust Bowl, and a fantastical love story between a ghost who needs to cross over to the other side and the ferryman responsible for transporting the souls of the dead.
Elsa Martinelli has two children, an unhappy marriage, and a farm that she stubbornly helps tend. But when the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl hit, the family’s relations are stretched to the brink. Abandoned by her husband, faced with dying livestock and failing crops, Elsa must choose whether to stay with the land she loves or flee in search of a better life for her and her children.
November is Native American Heritage Month, so I thought I would highlight the Mead Bookish Bingo Challenge to “read a book written by a NAFNIP (Native, Aboriginal, First Nations, Indigenous People) author”.
Native American Heritage Month is a time for all of us to reflect on and celebrate the contributions, histories and cultures of Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Island communities in North America. For this article, I would like to celebrate the literary works of a few indigenous authors featured in the Monarch Library System collection.
Joy Harjo is the 2019 Poet Laureate of the United States and a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Carole Lindstrom is the author of the New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Award-winning We Are Water Protectors. She is Anishinabe/Métis and is a proud member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe Indians.
Michaela Goade is the Caldecott Award-winning illustrator of We Are Water Protectors. She is the first Native American to win the award. She is of the Tlingit and Haida tribes.
Darcie Little Badger is an oceanographer and the author of Elatsoe, selected by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 Fantasy books of all time. She is a member of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas.
Stephen Graham Jones is an award-winning author who has been honored with both the Ray Bradbury Award for Science Fiction and the Bram Stoker Award for Horror. He is a member of the Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation of Montana.
N. Scott Momaday is author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning HouseMade of Dawn. He is a member of the Kiowa people.
Robin Wall Kimmerer is the author and American Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental and Forest Biology, and Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She is member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
Code-switching is becoming an increasingly popular practice in writing children’s literature. Code-switching happens when one moves fluidly between two languages within written or spoken dialogue. It is often used when a word cannot be directly translated or loses meaning in translation, or as a way of better illustrating themes where another language may describe something better or be more appropriate than English. Spanglish is a common word used when referring to the code-switching between English and Spanish.
Children’s books are an enjoyable way to introduce your child (or yourself) to another language. If you are looking to incorporate a second language into your daily life or to keep a language alive in the home, books that use two languages are a good place to begin. They often include a glossary with translations and use repetition to emphasize words that are in the language other than English. These books can be found in a variety of languages, but the most common are English to Spanish. Below are a selection of favorites from Mead Public Library’s children’s collection (descriptions provided are taken from the book publishers):
The American Library Association recently announced the winners of the 2021 Youth Media Awards. High quality media for teens and children were awarded for their excellence under different categories. I’ve listed some of these remarkable award winners below and included links to our catalog so you can reserve your copies today!
John Newbery Medal
The John Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. This year’s winner is When You Trap a Tiger, written by Tae Keller. In this story, a magical tiger from Korean folklore appears to Lily after she moves in with her dying grandmother. Something was stolen from the tiger long ago and an incredible deal is offered for its return.
The 2020 Hugo Awards were officially announced last week. 17 Hugo Awards are distributed (plus some extras) but one of my favorite categories is the Award for Best Graphic Story or Comic. Here are the 6 shortlisted titles for this year’s award.
Have you been waiting on the holds list to read Educated by Tara Westover and just want a book to pass the time? Or have you just finished Educated and now you’re wondering what you could possibly read that could ever compare?
Here’s a list of books that just might fill the Educated void:
This memoir follows Jessica’s journey as a young woman who is abused, both physically and emotionally, by her father. Later in her life, she decides to break away and cut all ties with her dysfunctional family to finally create a life for herself. Though she struggles to overcome the trauma and pain that has internally built up throughout her childhood, Jessica works her way down an inspiring path to happiness. This book is currently available right away in Audiobook format on Hoopla