March 2017 TBR

Hey guys! I’d love to share my “to-be-read” list for March. I am hoping to read 5 books this month.7218138

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The first book I’ll be reading is Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by brilliant Mark Twain.
This book was my absolute favorite growing up!
It will be my 3rd time reading it, so I am excited to see if I can pick up something new or catch something I may have missed previously. I will be reading this book with the Great Reads Book Club and I cannot wait to hear what they have to say about this American classic!

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I will be returning to the world of criminal procedure in Dublin. Last year I have been introduced to Tana French and her Dublin Murder Squad Series. In the Woods is the first book in that series and it’s absolutely brilliant! What made In the Woods  the-likeness-pbsuch an amazing debut novel was Tana’s beautiful, descriptive prose, great plot and three-dimensional characters. Oh, and did I mention that the narrator is unreliable? It’s so great! The Likeness is the 2nd book in the series and I am beyond excited for my comeback to Ireland and its criminal world.

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20559In the beginning of the year I made a promise to myself that 2017 will be the year of exploring new genres. Ubik, written by the master of science-fiction Phillip K. Dick, is that book. His works inspired Hollywood blockbusters such as Total Recall (1990),
The Adjustment Bureau (2011), Screamers (1995), Minority Report (2002), Next (2007), Paycheck (2003) and quintessential sci-fi classic Blade Runner (1982). For my first PKD read, I wanted to select a book that was not turned into a movie and Ubik was a perfect choice.

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The Refugees by Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen is the fourth book on my March TBR list. This book presents tragic, emotionally devastating the-refugees-thanhstories of Vietnamese refugees in California. This book seemed to be a perfect read in our contemporary political environment.

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1105full-the-story-of-civilization,-vol-ii--the-life-of-greece-by-will-durant.-coverAnother one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more
historical non-fiction. Here I want to step out of my comfort zone and read more works of ancient history instead of modern history. This is why I picked a giant tome The Life of Greece by Will Durant. Published in 1939, this work is still widely considered to be an authority text on the topic of Ancient Greece and Durant’s name is genuinely cherished in historical circles. I am excited to read this epic tome but I probably will not finish it in March.

by Ilya K

Great Reads Book Club – September’s Book

omw0510Old Man’s War by John Scalzi was a step outside of what the Great Reads Book Club usually reads. Most people in our discussion group thought the book was “clever, engaging and filled with interesting concepts.” The book explores what happens when a 75-year old man decides to transfer his consciousness into a genetically enhanced, 25 year-old body and joins the Colonial Defense Force in a war effort against alien species. And, of course, what happens is not pretty.

Why would our protagonist John Perry decide to join a war that is almost certainly going to kill him? Well, the love of his life Kathy passes away and, with an aged body, there is just not much left for John to live for on Earth anymore. After visiting his deceased wife’s grave, John’s leaves the planet and his adventure begins. Old Man’s War is packed with action, cool scientific concepts and different alien species.

There was one important problem with Old Man’s War. The majority of characters in the book are old people, and yet all of them, without exception, talk and act like teenagers. In short – this is a missed opportunity. Old people are interesting because they have years and years of experience, wisdom, memories and knowledge under their belt. Unfortunately, these characteristics are only mentioned passingly and don’t play a meaningful part in the story. Additionally, the story’s premise was so promising: “75 year old man transfers his consciousness into a genetically enhanced, 25 year-old body and joins the army.” Ideas on ethics and philosophy could have been explored in greater detail here. Instead, we have a military space shooter that’s primarily interested in entertaining the reader, not making her think.

When it’s all said and done, Old Man’s War is a decent book. It’s entertaining and, at times, very funny. If you enjoy fast-paced narrative and cool action scenes – read this book immediately. However, if you like reading science fiction and think about ethical themes and philosophy, I would not recommend reading this book. Check out The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu instead.

by Ilya Kabirov

Anne McCaffrey 1926-2011

AnneMcCaffrey 1926-2011Beloved science fiction and fantasy novelist Anne McCaffrey, 85, died today, November 21, 2011, of a massive stroke at her home in Wicklow County, Ireland.

Anne Inez McCaffrey was born April 1, 1926 in Cambridge Massachusetts. She attended Radcliffe College, graduating in 1947, and worked as an advertising copywriter while directing and performing in stage productions. She married H. Wright Johnson in 1950, and had three children, Alec Anthony, Todd, and Georgeanne “Gigi”. She divorced Johnson in 1970, and moved to Ireland, where she opened a stable and began raising horses.

McCaffrey is best known for her long-running Pern series of SF novels and stories. Pern novel The White Dragon (1978) was the first hardcover SF novel to make the New York Times bestseller list. Many of the later books in the Pern series were written in collaboration with McCaffrey’s son Todd. In all she authored or co-wrote more than 100 titles, beginning with first novel Restoree (1967).

Her many honors include being named a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Grand Master (2005); induction into the SF Hall of Fame (2006); and a Robert A. Heinlein Award (2007). She was the first woman to win both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards, with “Weyr Search” (1968) and “Dragonrider” (1969) respectively.

To learn more about Anne McCaffrey visit her website at http://pernhome.com/aim/?page_id=17 or visit your friendly Fountaindale Public Library and check out some of her books today.

– Lynnette

Graphic Novels – Not just for kids anymore

I remember as a kid getting ready to go on a family vacation included a trip to the store to get comic books to keep us entertained on the long drive. Wait – a librarian (and the daughter of a librarian) fondly reminiscing about buying books? My mom’s view was that it was better to buy books and comics for vacation so if we ruined or lost them, then we weren’t responsible for library books. So – back to the comics.

What did we buy? Mad Magazine and Cracked Magazine for my older brother, and Archie Comics and classic stories in comic form for me (my favorite was Black Beauty). I read the comics until they just about fell apart. As I grew up, so did the books. Chapter books turned into teen books which turned into novels.

So what do I read now? The latest bestsellers, debut authors, and recommendations from coworkers are pretty much the standard fare. Some of my favorite authors are James Patterson, J. D. Robb, Kathy Reichs, Linda Fairstein, Laurell K. Hamilton just to name a few. But my guilty pleasure is still comics. Well, maybe the comics’ older sibling the graphic novel. What? Graphic novels? Aren’t they about samurai sword-wielding avengers, average high school kids suddenly falling into another world or developing super powers? Well, yes, those are some of the graphic novels that are out there. But there are others.


For the horror fan there are such titles as Zombie Tales 3: Good Eatin’ and Fall of Cthuluh: Apocalypse.

For the science fiction fan the is Halo: Helljumper and Doctor Who: Fugitive.

Not into zombies and aliens? Are classics more your style? Try Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, the Canterville Ghost,  or The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976.

Popular authors are now being released in graphic form. Books such as Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, Dean Koontz’s Fear Nothing, Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and The Stand, Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island, and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight have just been released.

So where can you get these great graphic novels to try? Stop by the Fountaindale Public Library, or call us at (630) 759-2102 and we can place holds for you!

– Lynnette

Coming soon… To A Library Near You

February seems to be the month for new releases! James Patterson has a new Michael Bennett book Worst Case due out February 1st. Other thrilling and chilling titles coming soon are Dana Stabenow’s A Night Too Dark (February 16th), John Ringo’s Live Free or Die (February 15th), Joe Hill’s Horns (February 16th), Dark Matter by Peter Straub (February 9th), Kim Harrison’s Black Magic Sanction (February 23rd) and Flirt (an Anita Blake novel)by Laurell K. Hamilton (February 2nd).

On the lighter side of reading there will be Kristin Hannah’s Winter Garden (February 2nd), Brava Valentine by Adriana Trigiani (February 2nd), Aunt Dimity Down Under by Nancy Atherton (Februaru 18th), and Matthew’s Story by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins (February 18th).

Winter Garden

So place your holds now, and curl up with some new books while the winter winds are blowing!

-Lynnette