Monday, March 25, 2013


The next meeting of the library's book club will be held on Tuesday, April 16th.  We will be discussing Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.

Elizabeth Strout was born in Portland, Maine and spent her childhood in Maine and New Hampshire.  She attended Bates College, graduating with an English degree.  Later, she obtained a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law.  She has published four books, and she won the Pulitzer Prize for Olive Kitteridge.

To learn more about the author, you can visit

Elizabeth Strout's Novels:

Amy & Isabelle tells the story of Amy Goodrow, a high school student, who falls in love with her math teacher.  When they are discovered, Amy's mother (Isabelle) feels much disgrace.  As a result, she lashes out at her daughter and retreats into silence.  Amy also withdraws.  The two remain in the same household, living side by side, but unable to bridge the distance that has come between them.

Abide With Me takes place in a small town in Maine in the 1950s.  Tyler Caskey, the town's minister, is still grieving the death of his wife.  One of his daughters, Jeannie, is sent to live with his mother; the other daughter, Katherine, has become antisocial.  Tyler turns to Connie Hatch, his housekeeper, when he is told that Katherine should speak with the school counselor which causes the gossip to begin.

Olive Kitteridge is a collection of thirteen narratives that share one main character: Olive Kitteridge.  Olive dislikes the changes in her little town, and in the world around her.  As the townspeople struggle with their own problems, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her own life.

The Burgess Boys is Strout's newest novel.  Two brothers return to their childhood hometown when their sister asks for their help with her teenage son.  Once back home, they must confront their own issues that resulted from the loss of their father which, in turn, shaped their personal and professional lives.

Similar reads to the works listed above:

The Hours by Michael Cunningham
For My Daughters by Barbara Delinsky
74 Seaside Avenue by Debbie Macomber
The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
Angels in the Gloom by Anne Perry
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
The Lost Quilter by Jennifer Chiaverini
The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
Coast Road by Barbara Delinsky
Duma Key by Stephen King
Sandcastles by Luanne Rice
The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners by Luanne Rice

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Monday, March 18, 2013


Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that usually features steam-powered machines, most often in an alternate history of the 19th century's Victorian England or American Wild West.  Sometimes, it will take place in a post-apocalyptic future in which steam power has regained mainstream use.  Steampunk utilizes prominent features of science fiction or fantasy such as fictional technological inventions or real technological inventions like the computer occurring at an earlier time.  Works of Steampunk are rooted in the era's perspective on fashion, culture, architecture, and art.

Other works of Steampunk contain alternate history plots of the path not taken of technology such as dirigibles, presented in an idealized light.  It may also incorporate elements from other genres: fantasy, horror, historical fiction, etc.  Thus, it is often a hybrid genre.

Here are some of the Steampunk works you can find at EFPL:

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross follows Finley Jayne and her friends as they travel to America to rescue their friend Jasper.  However, Jasper is in the hands of a former friend who demands a trade: the device that Jasper stole from him for the life of the girl Jasper loves.  One mistake from Jasper, and the clockwork collar around Mei's neck will tighten...

Touch of Steel by Kate Cross: After her brother's death, Claire Brooks vows to gain revenge on the member of The Company who she believes killed her brother.  Claire follows him to London where she is captured and held by Alistair Payne.

Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve tells the story of a foundling, Fever Crumb.  She was raised as an engineer even though women are not believed to be capable of rational thought.  At fourteen, she leaves her home and begins to learn the truth about her past while facing dangers in the present.

Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories is a collection of stories set in the world of steam engines featuring automatons, clockworks, and other machines that never existed.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells: Although not exactly steampunk as it was written during the Victorian time period, The Time Machine is a novel that is a major influence on the steampunk genre as it is the starting point for many of its characteristics: a Victorian setting and technology that did not exist but that is described in enough detail to make it seem real.  The story begins with a scientist who claims that he has invented a time machine, and he tells his story to his unbelieving friends.

Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes is a story set in Victorian London that features a stage magician and detective along with his silent sidekick as they uncover a plot to bring London to ruin in order to create the prophecies of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his friend and fellow poet Robert Southey.

The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry follows Charles Unwin, a clerk at a detective agency, as he investigates the disappearance of the agency's best detective: Travis Sivart.  This is a dark fantasy that brings readers into a dream world that will change how they think about thinking.

The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson: John Percival Hackworth, a nanotech engineer, forges a copy of an interactive, computer-driven book entitled A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer.  This device has the power to single-handedly educate its reader; it is designed to shape the values and maintain the superiority of the dominant group.  However, during a mugging, Hackworth loses the copy to a thug.  The thug gives the device to his sister, Nell.  Nell learns secrets from the device, and her understanding of herself and her world grows in ways that the primer's designers never intended.  The destiny of the society as a whole is irrevocably changed.

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Monday, March 11, 2013


March is Women’s History Month! It is a time to celebrate the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.

Women’s History Month has only been around since 1987 when Congress expanded the focus of Women’s History Week to a whole month. It began as a way to teach the topic of women’s history in the classroom, as it was a subject generally ignored; the event was a way to increase knowledge of the American population.

Women have made contributions in many areas including science, sports, art, politics, civil rights, and medicine, and they deserve to be recognized for their hard work. Take some time to pick up a book or do research on your own to learn more about these amazing people and their involvement in shaping the world we know today.

For more information on Women’s History Month take a look at these websites:

Here are some great biographies on remarkable women:

Solo: A Memoir of Hope by Hope Solo
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman
Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie
The Bronte Sisters by Catherine Reef
Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel's Secret War by Hal Vaughan
Nightingales: The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale by Gillian Gill
Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie by Barbara Goldsmith
Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years by Keith Badman
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Me: Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn
Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks
Africa In My Blood: An Autobiography in Letters by Jane Goodall
Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books by William Kuhn
Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball
J.K. Rowling: The Wizard Behind Harry Potter by Marc Shapiro
Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom by Catherine Clinton

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Monday, March 4, 2013


YALSA's 2013 Hub Reading Challenge is underway!  Read or listen to 25 of the 83 selected titles in order to participate.  The challenge runs through June 22.

For more information go to

Don't want to sign up?  Use the list as a starting point for your own reading enjoyment.  Here are some of the titles that can be found at EFPL.

The Diviners by Libba Bray tells the story of Evie O'Neill.  After being exiled from her home town in Ohio, Evie moves to New York City where she lives with her uncle, owner of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition and the Occult.  When a series of occult-based murders occur, Evie and her uncle are on the case.  Will she be able to catch the killer before he can catch her?

Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer is the last installment of the Artemis Fowl series.  Artemis must confront his arch rival, Opal Koboi who has reanimated dead fairy warriors.  The spirits have taken over Artemis's little brothers.  Artemis has until morning to get the spirits out of his brothers and back into the earth where they belong.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich: Joe Coutz, along with three friends, sets out to find the person responsible for attacking his mother.

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama tells the story of Syrenka, a mermaid, who falls in love with Ezra, a human.  When she leaves her life underwater behind in order to be with Ezra, horrific and deadly consequences unfold.  Over 100 years later, Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra.  With his help, Hester begins to investigate her family's strange and sad history, but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka.

In The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, we meet Hazel, a 16 year old girl with stage IV thyroid cancer.  She has accepted her diagnosis until she meets a young boy at her cancer support group.  This causes her to reexamine her thoughts on life and love.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman takes place in a world in which humans and dragons coexist and where dragons can assume human form.  Seraphina struggles with her own identity among magical secrets and royal scandals.

The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens by Brooke Hauser is a work of nonfiction.  Hauser chronicles a year in the life of a group of teenage immigrants as they find there place in America.

Other titles include:

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Every Day by David Levithan
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
Dodger by Terry Pratchett
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stievater
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy by Bil Wright

The complete reading list can be found at

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