Category Archives: Book Reviews

Welcome back to 2015!

Hello again! I hope that you had a great winter break. Did you get a chance to relax at least a little? Did you do any reading?

One of the things that your faithful correspondent did was do some reading of her own. I checked out three books from the library here, checked out a couple of e-books from the public library, and bought some books from Amazon. If you’re interested, here’s a little summary of what I read, if you are looking for something to read yourself…

  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher was a great book, but admittedly a tearjerker. Don’t read this while on public transportation. This book tells the story of a girl who has committed suicide, and mails out a bunch of cassettes to thirteen people, telling them why they are the reasons that she committed suicide. One reader that I know finished this book and told me that it was an amazingly profound book. I tend to agree with her. You won’t let people disappear into themselves again.
  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick was another tearjerker. This one is by the author of Silver Linings Notebook. It’s about a boy who, on his 18th birthday, decides to take a gun to school in order to kill his former best friend and then himself. There are strands of hope in this book, if you know where to look for them.
  • Paper Towns by John Green didn’t cause me to weep publicly — what a relief. But it caused me to think about the images of ourselves that we put forth to society, whether through Facebook or in real life. This is about a girl who disappears, and the group of friends who try to figure out the mystery of who she is.This one is being made into a movie

Right now I am reading Cat Girl’s Day Off, about a girl who can talk to cats, who is trying to solve a mystery surrounding a movie that is a take of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Ask me, and I’ll tell you how it is once I finish.

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Scott Pilgrim is here…

We try to get new graphic novels for the Graphic Novel collection. We recently bought volumes 1 through 6 of the Scott Pilgrim series. Not familiar with Scott Pilgrim? It’s a graphic novel about a boy in a band who meets a girl. The girl has several ex-boyfriends. If the boy wants to date the girl, he has to defeat the ex-boyfriends in combat. Hilarity ensues (as you might expect). This graphic novel series is New York Times best-selling and liked by Joss Whedon as  well. How can you resist? You can find it in our graphic novel collection. Check it out!

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American Gods

What happens when newcomers to America bring their gods with them? And what happens when those gods are forgotten? These are some of the questions that Neil Gaiman asks in his book American Gods, one of the books we have here in the library. Gaiman, who came to prominence with the graphic novel series Sandman, has created magical worlds in such places as the London Underground, a child’s room, and Happily Ever After. In American Gods, he explores America and the old gods who inhabit the land.

Shadow, a released convict, finds job offerings thin after coming out of prison. That’s when he takes a job with the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, a man who seems to know more about Shadow than he should. Little does Shadow realize that the job he’s signed on for is far from straightforward…

This book is thought-provoking, a little sexy, a little sad, intelligent, with a touch of horror thrown in — no wonder it’s won so many awards, like the Hugo Award and the Bram Stoker Award.

The call number for this book is PR6057.A319 A84 2011.

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Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism

A new Reference book has arrived in the library. Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism was published in 2010, but it has information that is still relevant today. It contains entries on the many concepts that pertain to vegetarianism, including industries, people, practices, religions, societies, popular culture, countries, science, and agriculture. Some of the topics include:

  • Veganism
  • Transcendentalism
  • People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
  • Childbearing and Infant Feeding
  • Meatless Diets before Vegetarianism
  • Internet, the
  • Kellogg, John Harvey

Entries are comprehensive, and will refer you to other, related topics. In addition, each entry is followed by a list of recommended books, websites, and articles for further information.

This book would be really helpful if you are doing research on vegetarianism, environmentalism, or any topic that may be touched or is somehow affected by (or affects) vegetarianism. Or you can just browse it if you are interested in the topic.

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The Secret History of Fantasy

We just got a new book here in the library: an anthology of stories called The Secret History of Fantasy.

Edited by Peter S. Beagle, the author of The Last Unicorn, it features stories by such authors as Neil Gaiman, Patricia A. McKillip, Octavia E. Butler, Francesca Lia Block, T.C. Boyle, Stephen King, and Gregory Maguire. These aren’t your usual fantasy stories: King’s story “Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut” is about the unusual occurrences that happen while driving through the Maine woods, while Maureen F. McHugh’s “Ancestor Money” is about claiming money in the afterlife.

If you need something to read over winter break, this might be the book for you!

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