Monday, March 28, 2016


It's that time of year again, the time when everyone turns their attention to college basketball.  Whether you follow the sport regularly or not, the NCAA tournament is always fun to watch.  You can root for your favorite team, or just cheer on the underdogs.  And, there are always fun upsets to talk about!

The past few years the Library has created its own tournament: Book Madness.  We take a look at the most popular books from the previous year and create a bracket.  The basketball tournament and book tournament end on the same day with one winner.

The top 2 seeds for the book madness tournament include the books listed below.

Number 1 Seeds:
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Gray Mountain by John Grisham
14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson
Hope to Die by James Patterson

Number 2 Seeds:
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel
The Liar by Nora Roberts
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

After the weekend, we have narrowed things down to the final four books!  Who will win it all: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (#2), The Liar by Nora Roberts (#2), Gray Mountain by John Grisham (#1) or The Maze Runner by James Dashner (#10)?

To take a look at the complete bracket, stop by the library's book madness display!

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Monday, March 21, 2016


I was a huge fan of Rae Carson's Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, so when she released her latest work, Walk on Earth a Stranger, I knew I had to give it a try!  Walk on Earth a Stranger takes place during the Gold Rush era in the United States.  Lee Westfall can sense the presence of gold in the world around her.  When tragedy strikes, Lee decides to set out across the country to travel to California where she can start over and find safety.

If you are interested in other works related to the Gold Rush era or travel west, take a look at the options below!

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman - When her father is killed by the Rose Riders for a journal containing the location of a secret gold mine, Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes off to search for answers and justice.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton - Walter Moody has come to New Zealand during the gold rush.  Upon his arrival, he stumbles across a group of locals who have met to discuss a series of unexplained events.

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende - Eliza Sommers meets and falls in love with Joaquin Andieta at the same time gold is discovered in the hills of northern California.  Joaquin takes off for California to seek his fortune, and Eliza decides to follow him.

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick - In an isolated cabin, Sig is alone with the corpse of his father, who had fallen through the ice and froze to death.  A stranger comes along and claims that Sig's father owes him a share of a horde of stolen gold.

Seeds of Hope: the Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild by Kristiana Gregory - This story is told through diary entries.  After losing her mother on their journey to Oregon, Susanna's father decides to travel on to California to mine for gold.

Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: the Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell by Kristiana Gregory - In her diary, Hattie details her family's journey from Missouri to Oregon along the Oregon Trail.

The Oregon Trail: a New American Journey by Rinker Buck - This nonfiction work is Buck's account of traveling the Oregon Trail today.  However, he chose to travel it the old-fashioned way with a covered wagon and a team of mules.

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee -  Samantha and Annamae flee New York for the frontier, but life one the Oregon Trail is not safe for two girls.  They disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed west for the California gold rush.

Hard Gold by Avi - In an attempt to find his uncle, Early Whittcomb joins up with another family on their trip west heading for the gold fields near Pike's Peak.

The Journal of Wong Ming-Chung: a Chinese Miner by Laurence Yep - A young Chinese boys records his journey as he travels from China to California in order to join his uncle during the Gold Rush.

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Monday, March 14, 2016


Next month we will be reading Anne Tyler's A Spool of Blue Thread for book club.  This novel tells the story of Abby Whitshank and how she fell in love with Red in the late 1950s.  It explores where the family came from and carries through to Abby and Red's grandchildren.

Anne Tyler is a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist as well as a short story writer and literary critic.  She won the Pulitzer Prize for Breathing Lessons, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Morgan's Passing, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Accidental Tourist.

Interested in Anne Tyler's novels?  Try one out today!

A Spool of Blue Thread 
Breathing Lessons
Morgan's Passing
The Accidental Tourist
If Morning Ever Comes
The Tin Can Tree
A Slipping-Down Life
The Clock Winder
Celestial Navigation
Searching for Caleb
Earthly Possessions
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
Saint Maybe
Ladder of Years
A Patchwork Planet
Back When We Were Grownups
The Amateur Marriage
Digging to America
Noah's Compass
The Beginner's Goodbye

If you have already finished A Spool of Blue Thread, here are some other novels you may also enjoy.

After This by Alice McDermott
The Turner House by Angela Flournoy
Restoring Grace by Katie Fforde
Real Life and Liars by Kristin Riggle
Lunch at the Piccadilly by Clyde Edgerton
Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016


King Arthur, Merlin, Lancelot.  These names are familiar to so many, and they can be found in a wide variety of places.  The legend of King Arthur has been used in movies such as Disney's The Sword in the Stone and King Arthur as well as in a variety of adaptations for theatre, television, and novels..

There are many versions of the life of King Arthur, but many include Uther Pendragon as Arthur's father, the wizard Merlin, Arthur's wife Guinevere, and the sword Excalibur.  Here are just a few works of literature to get you started.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley: The reader follows the adventures of Camelot's court through the eyes of the women who helped the king rise and schemed for his fall.  You will see these women grow from childhood to fulfill their destinies as the Arthurian legend unfolds.
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart: This is the first book in The Arthurian Saga.  This book covers the time of Merlin's adolescence until he becomes a young man.  Merlin finds his way to the court of Ambrosius Aurelianus where he assists in the preparations to unify Britain.

The Coming of the King by Nikolai Tolstoy: This novel takes place right after Arthur's death, and it retells the story of Merlin's life.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain: A Yankee engineer is transported back in time to the court of King Arthur.  While there, he fools everyone into thinking he is a magician.  He uses his knowledge of modern technology in an attempt to modernize the past. 

The Sword in the Stone by T.H. White: Before there was a famous king named Arthur, there was a boy named Wart and a kind wizard named Merlyn.  Together Wart and Merlyn take the reader through this story of adventure, the classic tale of young Arthur's discovery of his life.

Avalon High by Meg Cabot: Ellie moves to Maryland with her medievalist parents and starts attending Avalon High School.  There she meets several students who may or may not be reincarnations of King Arthur and his court.

The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck: This is Steinbeck's modernization of the adventure of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.  He features the King Arthur, Merlin, Morgan le Fay, Queen Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot.

Sword of the Rightful King: A Novel of King Arthur by Jane Yolen: Merlin devises a way for King Arthur to prove himself as the rightful king of England.  He will just need to pull a sword from a stone.  Trouble arises when someone else removes the sword first.

The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron: This is the first book in The Lost Years of Merlin series which is part of the larger Merlin saga.  These books tell the complete story of Merlin's life from the young boy who washes ashore with no memory to the adventures of his grandson.

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