http://www.unshelved.com/UnshelvedA comic about a library2016-05-27T01:19:18-07:00Gene Ambaumgene@overduemedia.comBill Barnesbill@overduemedia.com(c) Overdue Media LLChttp://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-27/Book_ReviewsBook Reviews2016-05-27T00:00:00+00:002016-05-27T00:00:00+00:00
by Bill ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Bookclubvertical

This week's Unshelved Book Club features books about a poet who finds solace with his pets, a young woman who rescues downed Allied pilots in occupied France during WWII, a tell-all from John Leguizamo (based on his one man show), 15 DIY sewing projects for geeks, and a biographical graphic novel about surviving breast cancer.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-27Unshelved on Friday, May 27, 20162016-05-27T00:00:00+00:002016-05-27T00:00:00+00:00
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Unshelved comic strip for 5/27/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/bookclub/2016-5-27Unshelved Book Club on Friday, May 27, 20162016-05-27T00:00:00+00:002016-05-27T00:00:00+00:00

This week's book recommendations from the creators of Unshelved and their friends.Learn who we are, how we pick books, and other books we've featured.


Amazon | Powell's
When David Lost His Voice by Judith Vanistendael, Nora Mahony
SelfMadeHero, 2013. 9781906838546. 280 pages.

Link to this review in the form of a comic strip by geneambaum tagged graphic novelliterary

Unshelved comic strip for 5/27/2016

Amazon | Powell's
Dog Years by Mark Doty
HarperCollins, 2007. 9780061171000. 215 pages.

Link to this review by wally tagged biography

Poet Mark Doty tells about the loss of his first partner to AIDS, and how he found solace in their dogs, Arden and Beau. Both dogs show their own personalities, but eventually he must lose them as well.

Why I picked it up: I needed something to read on my lunch break and looked in the poetry section for something short. I like Doty's poetry, but after a bad incident in kindergarten, I've always been a bit wary of dogs, and thought it was worth a shot.

Why I finished it: Doty’s love for the animals comes through in the first pages, and so I kept on, though this was a slow read for me. I don't often put books down for a week and then pick them up again with just as much enthusiasm, but I needed time to think about what Doty had to say about love and loss. He talks openly about his own depression and despair, and even relates a moment on a ferry to New York when, for a long moment, he considered jumping overboard with the ailing Arden. But it's not all gloom and doom.  The many instances of the dogs playing shine with their personalities, whether it's Arden playing with a toy in the kitchen or Beau rolling in a whale carcass on the beach.

It’s perfect for: Julie, who rescued a street dog from Costa Rica and brought him back to the states where he has been her constant companion. She would love the long section on how Doty and his second partner visit Mexico City and almost adopt a street dog of their own.


Amazon | Powell's
Cancer Vixen: A True Story by Marisa Marchetto
Knopf, 2006. 9780307263575. 212 pages.

Link to this review by murphy'smom tagged biographygraphic novel

Marisa Acocella was an intelligent and beautiful cartoonist for Glamour and New York Magazine. She was paid to try different beauty regimes, write about cosmetics, and review the newest, most chic restaurants in New York. She and her boyfriend met when she took her friends to his hot new restaurant (after she got a full-fledged makeover on the publishers' dime, of course). Marissa wrote mostly from home and set her own hours as long as she met her deadlines. She was living the good life.

Then 9/11 happened. Marisa soon developed a horrendous cough and asthma, and she found a lump in her breast. Shortly after being diagnosed with cancer, Marisa lost her job at New York Magazine. With no income or insurance, Marisa panicked about how she would be able to afford her chemotherapy. She knew she would never find a reputable oncologist without health insurance. And because she and her boyfriend had just begun dating, she worried he would leave her.

Why I picked it up: I’m a huge supporter of breast cancer awareness. And my friend Melissa recently led a Reader's Advisory class on manga and graphic novels. Cancer Vixen is the first graphic novel I’ve ever read.

Why I finished it: I wanted to be sure Marisa received proper treatment and that her cancer went into remission. I was touched by the real love between the author and her then-boyfriend. Her colorful sketches and sarcastic, witty point of view made her story a better read than just a book of facts about cancer. 

It's perfect for: My Game Night Girls group -- Christina, Hollye, Melissa, Jen, and Wendi -- to remind them about the importance of mammograms and preventive health care. A group member’s mother was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is going through chemotherapy and radiation. She had no symptoms; the doctors found it while she was having her gall bladder removed. Cancer is a quiet, sneaky disease so I think if I could use this book as reinforcement that women need to get mammograms and have routine check ups, they would understand the importance of taking care of ourselves.

Readalikes: Cancer is a Bitch: Or, I'd Rather be having a Mid-life Crisis by Gail Konop Baker, which reminded me we all are getting older and that cancer is so not worth it. When Baker was forty-five years old, she was a picture of (almost) perfect health. She ran competitively, practiced yoga, and rarely had any aches or pains, and was ready to start writing full-time again because her kids had left the nest. She was expecting a "typical" mid-life crisis, but instead she got a cancer diagnosis and everything that went along with it.


Amazon | Powell's
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
St. Martin's Press, 2015. 9780312577223. 448 pages.

Link to this review by diane tagged historical fiction

Sisters Vianne and Isabelle had personalities as different as night and day. Their reactions to the Nazi occupation of France during World War II reflected their differences -- Vianne suffered the humiliation and hardships with stoic resignation while Isabelle decided to fight back. She became The Nightingale, a hero who rescued downed Allied pilots and delivered them to safety.

Why I picked it up: Reviews were all over the news about this story, describing it as “haunting” and filled with action and emotion. Since I love historical fiction, this seemed perfect.

Why I finished it: From the beginning, I knew that someone close to the story would survive. The first chapter is set in 1995 and told in first person by an elderly woman, but there’s no indication of who she is. I assumed it was one of the sisters, but which one? The story switches from first person to third when the tale moves back to 1939, so I didn’t know until the very end whether she was Vianne or Isabelle or someone else. Throughout I was intrigued -- was it better to comply with Nazi demands, to survive and protect your family, or to risk your life to do what you knew was right? The action was tense and swift, the emotions raw, and every character seemed real. It was easy to imagine myself in the positions of each of the sisters, and to feel each’s pain and triumph. I simply could not put it down.

It’s perfect for: My mother-in-law, Sue. We both like to read WWII stories, especially ones about ordinary people caught up in that extraordinary time. Since this one begins on the Oregon Coast, there’s also a local connection that I know Sue will enjoy.


Amazon | Powell's
Ghetto Klown: A Graphic Novel by John Leguizamo, Corista Cassano, Shamus Beyale
Abrams Comicarts, 2015. 9781419715181. 192 pages.

Link to this review by geneambaum tagged biographygraphic novel

A graphic novel adaption of Leguizamo’s one-man Broadway show of the same name, which was also shown on HBO. This is a cautionary, tell-all tale based on Leguizamo’s life: escaping his fighting parents by performing on the street, becoming addicted to drama via his first acting teacher, marrying a rebellious poet, becoming a star, and finally finding true love. 

Why I picked it up: I’ve been a John Leguizamo fan since Executive Decision, in which he had to help Kurt Russell carry out an anti-terrorist mission after Steven Seagal’s character unexpectedly died. (It’s worth watching for Seagal’s death alone, trust me.)

Why I finished it: Leguizamo's father threw him out of the house for wanting to become an actor, then got pissed at his son for airing the family’s dirty laundry on stage. He even threatened to sue, causing Leguizamo to have a breakdown in the middle of a performance, yet there’s a bit of a reconciliation between the two at the end. But it was Leguizamo’s behind-the-scenes tales of movies that really kept me coming back. Steven Seagal once threw him against a wall using aikido. He endured being brutally slapped by Sean Penn over and over only to have the scene cut from Casualties of War. And he and Patrick Swayze tried to scratch each others’ eyes out on the set of To Wong Foo....

Readalikes: My favorite overly-honest memoir, Shane Burcaw’s Laughing At My Nightmare, which, if I remember right, has nearly as many masturbation references as this one.


Amazon | Powell's
Sew Adorkable: 15 DIY Projects to Keep You Out of Trouble -- Quilts, Clothes, & Gear for the Chic Geek by Samarra Khaja
Stash Books, 2015. 9781617450570. 160 pages.

Link to this review by snow tagged nonfiction

Fabric designer and illustrator Khaja has created a number of patterns for quirky sewers. She offers ideas for decorating your clothes, your home, and your bed in bright colors and fun, unique patterns. Includes reproducible patterns and a pull-out pattern sheet.

Why I picked it up: I love Khaja's whimsical fabric designs, especially her thumbprint cats and Vampire Movied Night.

Why I finished it: This is one of those "a little something for everyone books," as long as everyone in question is a bit on the offbeat side. I'm not as into making clothes as I am quilting or sewing bags, but the first section gave me several ideas for how to customize clothes I already own. The "Meta Pencil Skirt" is a great example of that, especially for those who love wordplay -- it's a pencil skirt with pencils sewn on it! I know several parents who will be thrilled with the pattern for the "Toothy, the Tooth Fairy" stuffed toy in the Home Decor section. Toothy is a tooth-shaped Tooth Fairy with a backpack for holding the fallen tooth and the treats left behind. In the quilts section, there are five very fun options, but my favorite is probably the rainbow-colored Braille Alphabet Quilt, which is fun, educational, and warm.

In addition to the sewing patterns, Khaja offers up odd facts related to each pattern, such as how many yards of fabric you'd need to make pants for a T-Rex and why you don't sneeze when you're sleeping. And her charming illustrations cover each page, combining perfectly with her clear instructions.

It’s perfect for: Juan has been wanting to sew for a while, but hasn't gotten up the courage to learn. He can get started by playing with fabric. Khaja's "Prehistoric Portrait Painting" doesn't require any sewing, only tracing an image onto fusible web, ironing the web onto fabric, cutting the image out of the fabric, layering the fabric pieces on a background, and ironing them down.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-26Unshelved on Thursday, May 26, 20162016-05-26T00:00:00+00:002016-05-26T00:00:00+00:00
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Unshelved comic strip for 5/26/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-25/See_You_in_the_Funny_PagesSee You in the Funny Pages2016-05-25T00:00:00+00:002016-05-25T00:00:00+00:00
by Gene ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Today's comic looks a little different than normal. It's one Bill drew for a "See You in the Funny Pages" session I gave last week (along with a "Surviving the Public" keynote) at a staff day.

The story was our favorite of those submitted, and went something like this:

A little girl, about three-years-old, came in with her father. I overheard the two of them talking. She was trying to explain to her father about hand stamps and he didn't understand. I walked over to them and asked her if she would like to have her hand stamped. She was relieved that somebody knew what she wanted. I stamped her hands and when we finished she insisted that her father needed hand stamps as well. He reluctantly agreed, so I stamped his hands as well. As they were walking away from the desk the little girl turned to her father and said, "Now what do you say?" He very meekly turned to me and said, "Thank you."

We gave the library system that hired us the original art, and the person who submitted the story got two signed prints.

After the presentation of the art/prints, we tried something new, a short, intimate version of the Unshelved Library Stoyrfest I held with Josh Hanagarne at BEA earlier in the month. Both were great, but it was particularly cool to see library staff who work together sharing stories. (And it was great for me -- I've taken a few of those stories and adapted them for comics you'll see over the next few days.)

I've decided to offer the Storyfest as a breakout session option in the future, as part of the "See You in the Funny Pages" presentation.

I'm currently booking talks for this fall. If you're interested in this, one of our other options, or if you have another idea altogether, please contact me.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-25Unshelved on Wednesday, May 25, 20162016-05-25T00:00:00+00:002016-05-25T00:00:00+00:00
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Unshelved comic strip for 5/25/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-24Unshelved on Tuesday, May 24, 20162016-05-24T00:00:00+00:002016-05-24T00:00:00+00:00
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Unshelved comic strip for 5/24/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-23Unshelved on Monday, May 23, 20162016-05-23T00:00:00+00:002016-05-23T00:00:00+00:00
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Unshelved comic strip for 5/23/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-22Unshelved on Sunday, May 22, 20162016-05-22T00:00:00+00:002016-05-22T00:00:00+00:00
June Forecast: GREAT LISTENING AHEAD! June is Audiobook Month. Enter to win hot new audiobooks from Books On Tape and Listening Library, and prepare your patrons with their great advisory tips!

Unshelved comic strip for 5/22/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on January 20, 2005.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-21Unshelved on Saturday, May 21, 20162016-05-21T00:00:00+00:002016-05-21T00:00:00+00:00
June Forecast: GREAT LISTENING AHEAD! June is Audiobook Month. Enter to win hot new audiobooks from Books On Tape and Listening Library, and prepare your patrons with their great advisory tips!

Unshelved comic strip for 5/21/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on January 17, 2005.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-20/Book_ReviewsBook Reviews2016-05-20T00:00:00+00:002016-05-20T00:00:00+00:00
by Gene ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Bookclubvertical

This week's Unshelved Book Club features books about a musician who wants more than friendship from a talented artist, a house that sits atop a time tunnel, the final book in an epic fantasy trilogy, a manga adaptation of a classic Charles Dickens novel, and a cookbook full of easy recipes that require few ingredients.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-20Unshelved on Friday, May 20, 20162016-05-20T00:00:00+00:002016-05-20T00:00:00+00:00
June Forecast: GREAT LISTENING AHEAD! June is Audiobook Month. Enter to win hot new audiobooks from Books On Tape and Listening Library, and prepare your patrons with their great advisory tips!

Unshelved comic strip for 5/20/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/bookclub/2016-5-20Unshelved Book Club on Friday, May 20, 20162016-05-20T00:00:00+00:002016-05-20T00:00:00+00:00

This week's book recommendations from the creators of Unshelved and their friends.Learn who we are, how we pick books, and other books we've featured.


Amazon | Powell's
Mort(e) by Robert Repino
Soho, 2015. 9781616954277. 368 pages.

Link to this review in the form of a comic strip by wally tagged science fiction

Unshelved comic strip for 5/20/2016

Amazon | Powell's
Reckless Hearts by Sean Olin
Katherine Tegen Books, 2015. 9780062192417. 336 pages.

Link to this review by diane tagged coming of age

Jake is an aspiring singer/songwriter. Elena is a talented anime artist with a respectable following on a popular website. They are best friends, but Jake wants more. Their friendship is strained when Jake’s mom remarries, and Jake suddenly has a rich stepfather and an obnoxious stepbrother. While Jake is trying to adjust to a new, much wealthier life in a plush beach town, Elena falls for someone she meets online. Jake tries to convince her that her new boyfriend isn’t all he claims to be, but Elena just won’t listen.

Why I picked it up: Despite the steamy kiss on the cover, the subtitle A Wicked Games Novel implied that this was more than a typical teen romance.

Why I finished it: I liked the contrast between Jake and Elena. He is a quiet, sensitive musician; she is stubborn, expressive, and emotional. I knew they were destined to be together, so I was looking forward to seeing how the author would finally draw them back together. The suspense created by the secrets of Elena’s new boyfriend kept me frantically turning pages. Once they were uncovered and Jake and Elena end up together (no spoiler, it’s a teen romance after all!) I was left with a smile. I’m really looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

It’s perfect for: Savannah who devours teen romance, but doesn’t have the patience for those too melancholy or sappy. She’ll love the anime connection, and she’ll actually twist and turn as the secrets are revealed.

When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
Listening Library, 2016. 9780735207608.

A boy’s chance encounter with a scruffy dog leads to an unforgettable friendship in this deeply moving story about life, loss, and the meaning of family. Author Paul Griffin also narrates his Summer 2016 Kids’ Indie Next Pick, and said of the experience, “The audiobook was a gift…I learned so much about reading. You think you know what it sounds like when you read it aloud to your dogs, but reading it with an amazing director? He helped me find all these things I didn’t see.” Newbery Winning author Rebecca Stead is already a big fan, calling it a book that teaches us that “if we can open our hearts to one another…lives can change in big and wonderful ways.” Hear what she had to say in an exclusive Listening Library interview here.

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Amazon | Powell's
A Bridge of Years by Robert Charles Wilson
Orb Books, 2011. 9780765327420. 384 pages.

Link to this review by billba tagged science fiction

Tom Winter slinks from Seattle back to his hometown of Belltower, WA, having lost his wife and his high-tech job. He’s not looking forward to his new career selling cars at his brother’s Ford dealership. He buys an old house that he thinks is nondescript in every way except that it is exceptionally clean and well-maintained. He’s wrong. The house is very special. It sits atop a tunnel leading to both the past and the future. And the previous owner is in the shed, recovering from a bad case of death.

Why I picked it up: I enjoyed The Chronoliths and figured another time-travel novel by the same author sounded like a safe bet.

Why I finished it: Wilson reminds me of Joe Haldeman, one of my all-time favorite sci-fi authors. If they were artists, their paintings would be simple and a little ambiguous, with a muted palette and a minimum of details. The focus is less on the time travel and more on how it affects the characters and their relationships. Tom and his 1962 girlfriend Joyce start off sweet and end up complicated. Tom's realtor Doug and neighbor Catherine are an unlikely couple, but they come together to save Tom. And future soldier Billy and his golden armor make a formidable killing team. 

Readalikes: Some of my favorite excursions into the past: If I Never Get Back, Doomsday Book, and Replay.

Being Jazz My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
Listening Library, 2016. 9780735207448.

Teen activist and trailblazer Jazz Jennings—named one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens” of the year by Time—shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths. Jazz Jennings is the new Author Ambassador for ReadProudListenProud.com, an online resource that celebrates diversity and acceptance, encourages understanding through storytelling, and sparks discussion in the classroom and at home. Visit the site to WATCH A BEHIND-THE-MIC VIDEO as Jazz records her memoir on audio and find collections of LGBTQ books and audiobooks.

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Amazon | Powell's
The Last Mortal Bond (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne Book 3) by Brian Staveley
Tor, 2016. 9780765336422. 656 pages.

Link to this review by geneambaum tagged fantasy

(Spoiler Alert: This is the third book in the series. I’m going to try not to say too much, but if you haven’t read the first or second, and you have the good sense to want to do so, stop now. You’re about to know too much.)

The Annurian Empire is under threat from the sadistic Urghul barbarians, led by a man whose magic is powered by fear and awe. But the commander of the Annurian armies may be the greater threat -- he’s secretly one of the ancient Csestriim, an emotionless being out to destroy humanity’s connection to its young gods. At the heart of the conflict are the three children of the murdered Annurian Emperor: Valyn, trained as an elite warrior, believed dead, blinded and alone in the wilderness; Adare, current Empress, who may have to betray her people to save her son; and Kaden, raised by monks and recently returned to Annur, who may have to ally himself with the ancient god of pain to save the world.

Why I picked it up: It’s the conclusion to Staveley’s amazing trilogy, which began in The Emperor’s Blades.

Why I finished it: There are villains in the book, but they have deep-seated, personal motivations that make sense. There’s no hand-rubbing, cackling cartoon villains in sight -- just coldly logical and utterly brutal foes out to bring down human civilization and end the Annurian Empire. Staveley keeps all the balls in the air right up to the book’s final moments, and he pulls off its spectacular conclusion flawlessly. I usually feel let down by the endings of fantasy series, but not this one. 

Readalikes: Other fantasy trilogies that have ended on just the right note: Le Guin’s original Earthsea trilogy; the first three books in Sanderson’s Mistborn series; and both Joe Abercrombie’s brutal First Law trilogy and his more recent Shattered Sea series

Grimm's Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm, read by an award-winning cast including Jim Dale, Janis Ian, Alfred Molina & Katherine Kellgren
Listening Library, 2016. 9780147526380.

Read by a cast of award-winning narrators, this collection contains some of the most timeless and enchanting folk and fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm and is sure to live happily ever after on any library shelf. This brand new production is already winning rave reviews: The New York Times calls out the amazing cast, “Each tale gets a different narrator, chosen from the starry firmament of the audiobook world.” While AudioFile says in an Earphones Award Winning review, “A mixture of short and long tales provides a nice blend of listening experiences with whimsical musical interludes. Many of your favorite narrators are here.” And don’t miss this Storify of AMAZING librarian reactions from last week’s Day of Dialog at BEA, where a Grimm’s Fairy Tales panel inspired some of the most enthusiastic tweets about audiobooks and storytelling that we have ever seen! Want more fairy tale fun? Watch the trailer here.

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Amazon | Powell's
Great Expectations (Manga Classics) by Charles Dickens, Nokman Poon
Udon Entertainment, 2015. 9781927925317. 308 pages.

Link to this review by wally tagged classicgraphic novel

Pip's country life is disrupted when an escaped convict demands food and money, which he provides. A few years later, when Pip is invited to the house of jilted Miss Havisham to play with the beautiful Estella, he begins to think Havisham is his secret benefactor. He earns a bit of money playing with Estella, but she is cruel to him at Miss Havisham's instruction. After a few years of this, he is given more money to go off to London, where he begins to make the connections to help him make his fortune. But throughout he wonders how Miss Havisham could be his benefactor and yet want Estella to treat him so cruelly.

Why I picked it up: I read Great Expectations twice in high school and twice again in college, but my memories of it have dimmed. This graphic novel adaptation seemed like a perfect reintroduction.

Why I finished it: The manga style is perfect for this book. Pip's brother-in-law, Joe the blacksmith, is simple and kind and the art shows that exactly. In my mind, Miss Havisham didn’t look so wrinkled and mean, but after a bit it seemed just right. And of course Estella is manga-beautiful.

It’s perfect for: All my former classmates who were daunted by the thick, text-only editions we read back then. They'd like the speedy way this adaptation moves through its very convoluted plot.

The Girls by Emma Cline, read by Cady McClain
BOT, 2016. 9780147524010.

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong—this stunning first novel by Emma Cline makes for a riveting summer listen, read by two-time Emmy Award winning actress, writer, director, and producer Cady McClain. LISTEN TO A FIRST CLIP NOW

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Amazon | Powell's
6 Ingredient Solution: How to Coax More Flavor from Fewer Ingredients by America's Test Kitchen
Doubleday, 2013. 9781936493449. 328 pages.

Link to this review by dawnrutherford tagged cookbook

This cookbook focuses not only on easy recipes, but on making you a better cook by explaining why they work so well despite their lack of complexity.

Why I picked it up: I love to cook, but my long work commute has really been sapping my energy. I find it discouraging when I find a delicious sounding recipe, but it has so many unusual ingredients I have to go to multiple stores just to make it.

Why I finished it: I really love the layout. It has lots of beautiful and informative illustrations that both show what the finished product should look like, and how to manage any steps that might be at all tricky. Each recipe starts with a "why this recipe works” section explaining how that particular variation came about.

The first dish I tried totally sold me on this cookbook. I’m a long-time fan of leek and potato soup, but always found the leeks to be a little too subtle. The Test Kitchen folks totally agreed, so for their Rustic Potato-Leek Soup with Kielbasa, they recommend throwing in a ton more leeks and not blending them into oblivion. Plus adding delicious kielbasa (be still my 1/4 Polish heart) brought one of my favorite soups to a whole new level.

It’s perfect for: My boyfriend Barnaby, who has decided he is ready to expand beyond his bachelor engineer repertoire (pepperoni quesadillas, oven pancakes, and steak) and try his hand at new things. He will be relieved to see these recipes are not at all intimidating, and that you never have to turn a page mid-recipe. Plus, with such short lists of ingredients, he can take photos of them to bring to the grocery store. I can't wait to see what he makes me.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-19/June_is_Audiobook_MonthJune is Audiobook Month2016-05-19T00:00:00+00:002016-05-19T00:00:00+00:00
by Ang ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Audiobookmonth

June is Audiobook Month!

When I was a kid, my parents checked out cassette tapes of Lake Wobegon Days and The Burns & Allen Show before a long road trip. I didn't know you could do that! I thought libraries were just for books. That was a life-changing discovery. Over the years, listening to stories in the car became one of my favorite parts of traveling, and it has certainly kept me from nodding off on particularly tedious stretches of highway. (I'm looking at you, U.S. Route 50 in Nevada.) So, I was pleased to see that Books On Tape and Listening Library included "Speed up any road trip with family listening" on their list of ways to celebrate June is Audiobook Month at your library.

Click through to see their other suggestions, and enter for a chance to win some hot new releases. You will also find links to free materials, fascinating audiobook stats, sources for free downloads, and much more to keep the celebration going!

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-19Unshelved on Thursday, May 19, 20162016-05-19T00:00:00+00:002016-05-19T00:00:00+00:00
June Forecast: GREAT LISTENING AHEAD! June is Audiobook Month. Enter to win hot new audiobooks from Books On Tape and Listening Library, and prepare your patrons with their great advisory tips!

Unshelved comic strip for 5/19/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-18Unshelved on Wednesday, May 18, 20162016-05-18T00:00:00+00:002016-05-18T00:00:00+00:00
June Forecast: GREAT LISTENING AHEAD! June is Audiobook Month. Enter to win hot new audiobooks from Books On Tape and Listening Library, and prepare your patrons with their great advisory tips!

Unshelved comic strip for 5/18/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-17Unshelved on Tuesday, May 17, 20162016-05-17T00:00:00+00:002016-05-17T00:00:00+00:00
June Forecast: GREAT LISTENING AHEAD! June is Audiobook Month. Enter to win hot new audiobooks from Books On Tape and Listening Library, and prepare your patrons with their great advisory tips!

Unshelved comic strip for 5/17/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-16/GLBT_Book_MonthGLBT Book Month2016-05-16T00:00:00+00:002016-05-16T00:00:00+00:00
by Gene ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Glbtrt

June is GLBT Book Month!

Feel free to use today's comic in your book displays or to post it in your staff rooms to promote the event.

Personally, I'm going to celebrate by rereading one of my favorite graphic novel series, Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-16Unshelved on Monday, May 16, 20162016-05-16T00:00:00+00:002016-05-16T00:00:00+00:00
June Forecast: GREAT LISTENING AHEAD! June is Audiobook Month. Enter to win hot new audiobooks from Books On Tape and Listening Library, and prepare your patrons with their great advisory tips!

Unshelved comic strip for 5/16/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-15Unshelved on Sunday, May 15, 20162016-05-15T00:00:00+00:002016-05-15T00:00:00+00:00


Unshelved comic strip for 5/15/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on January 16, 2005.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-14Unshelved on Saturday, May 14, 20162016-05-14T00:00:00+00:002016-05-14T00:00:00+00:00


Unshelved comic strip for 5/14/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on January 10, 2005.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-13/Book_ReviewsBook Reviews2016-05-13T00:00:00+00:002016-05-13T00:00:00+00:00
by Gene ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Bookclubvertical

This week's Unshelved Book Club features books about a teen taking a cross-country bus trip to see the boy she kissed, a Nnewt with weak legs on a quest for a new home, the son of a snake handler and convicted child pornographer, an epileptic teen whose father made him into a character in a science fiction novel, and a graphic novel about a town fighting off oyster pirates.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-13Unshelved on Friday, May 13, 20162016-05-13T00:00:00+00:002016-05-13T00:00:00+00:00


Unshelved comic strip for 5/13/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/bookclub/2016-5-13Unshelved Book Club on Friday, May 13, 20162016-05-13T00:00:00+00:002016-05-13T00:00:00+00:00

This week's book recommendations from the creators of Unshelved and their friends.Learn who we are, how we pick books, and other books we've featured.


Amazon | Powell's
One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck, Yasmeen Ismail
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015. 9781481405140. 40 pages.

Link to this review in the form of a comic strip by wally tagged picture book

Unshelved comic strip for 5/13/2016

Amazon | Powell's
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
Harper, 2015. 9780062322371. 400 pages.

Link to this review by sarahhunt tagged coming of age

Eva doesn't like to tell anyone that her father died in a plane crash because they always want to know every awful detail. Instead she says that he died of a heart attack in his sleep. It's the death she wishes he could have had, painless and peaceful. The first person that she tells the real story to is the very handsome, very popular, and very athletic Will, who gets help with his writing at her Friday tutoring session. He has also lost someone close to him (his brother) and understands how hard it is to deal with loss when everyone expects you to move on. For the first time she has a connection that could lead to something more. But after a very romantic kiss, Will has to move across the country. Eva desperately wants to see him again, but there is no way she'll fly. She talks her best friend Annie into competing on a game show so they can take a cross-country bus trip.

Why I picked it up: A book review mentioned that Eva annoys her mother by devouring romance novels. The reviewer wanted the title of this book to match one of Eva's favorite romances: Cowboys on Fire.

Why I finished it: Eva wrote poetry with her father, and she hasn't wanted to write since he died. Now she connects with Will through her favorite poems by Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay. The poems in their letters and at the beginnings of the chapters made me feel the intoxication of first love.

It’s perfect for: Rose, who's starting to notice that her mom doesn't have all the answers. Eva's mother is no help at all at dealing with loss. Mom wants to get rid of every memory of Eva’s father and force herself to get over her pain. Eva finds other people in her life to help her grieve and grow. I think Eva would be a good role model for Rose.

All The Wrong Questions "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2014. 9780316335478.

In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He started by asking questions that shouldn't have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn't be read. This is the first volume.

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Amazon | Powell's
Nnewts Book One: Escape from the Lizzarks by Doug TenNapel
Scholastic Graphix, 2015. 9780545676465. 192 pages.

Link to this review by wally tagged fantasygraphic novel

Herk is a young Nnewt whose small legs are not as strong as he wants them to be. His home life consists of playing with his little sister and watching over his parents’ eggs. When their little village is attacked by scaly Lizzarks, his parents are killed but he manages to escape. (His sister is away at a sleepover.) He goes on a long quest for a new home and stronger legs. His journey takes him to the palace of the most ancient Nnewt, King Anthigar, who tells him how he can get stronger legs by defeating the Snake Lord. 

Why I picked it up: I've enjoyed Doug TenNapel's other graphic novels for kids, especially Bad Island and Cardboard. No matter how strange the setting he always makes families central to the story.

Why I finished it: This book, the first in a series, has many strange creatures including the cute little Nnewts themselves, with their round heads and big eyes, and the jagged, scaly Lizzarks, with their angular limbs and angry expressions. TenNapel's drawing style is clean and bold, and he imbues all of his scenes with the energy of an excited kid.

It’s perfect for: Chelsea, who would like how Herk and his little sister Sissy are play-fighting at the start of the story. After Herk is separated from his family, he wishes he could see Sissy again even though they were fighting before she left for her friend's house. She’d also like how the parents are reunited in a strange realm after their deaths, the outlines of their bodies meeting and singing about how happy they are to be together again.

The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015. 9780316240789.

Wherever you need to go--the Map to Everywhere can take you there.

To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it's her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere--but they aren't the only ones looking. A sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can't beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear!

In New York Times bestselling author Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis's first installment of a fantastical series, adventure, magic, and hilarity collide in the treacherous skies and dangerous waters of the Pirate Stream. Heart-pounding escapades and a colorful cast of characters will have readers setting sail through this wholly original and unforgettable tale.

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Amazon | Powell's
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Crown Books for Young Readers, 2016. 9780553524024. 384 pages.

Link to this review by flemtastic tagged coming of age

Dill lives in a dead-end small town in Tennessee, the same town where his father, a snake-handling fundamentalist preacher, was sent to prison because of the child pornography on his computer. His infamous father makes things difficult at school for Dill, but he has two good friends that allow him to get by: Travis, a “wizard” staff-wielding fan of a certain fantasy writer, and Lydia, author of a popular retro-fashion blog. Their senior year is just beginning, and Lydia is already making plans to go away to New York for college. Travis is just trying to survive his abusive father. Dill worries about being left behind. And then a tragedy tears their group apart.

Why I picked it up: I have always had a curiosity about churches that worship with serpents. Some offshoot branches of the Christian church believe Mark 16:17-18 (“These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will...pick up snakes with their hands.”) means that those who are worthy can pick up venomous snakes without danger. I wanted to find out about the beliefs and practices of people who choose to worship this way.

Why I finished it: The snake-handling was a big part of the story, but by no means the whole story. Dill is a complicated character who plays guitar and composes songs but is also prone to depression, partially due to his family situation. His mother, instead of supporting him, feels like it is her duty to back her husband, even implying that Dill should have taken the rap so the ministry could continue. Lydia and Dill have a real friendship, one built on getting through tough life events together. And a surprise visit to their town by the famous author that Travis worships is a real highlight of the book.

It’s perfect for: My student Kya, who is way into fashion. Lydia spends much of the book looking for pictures of fashion and trends to post on her blog for her hundreds of thousands of fans. Kya would learn a lot as Dill and Lydia discuss the practicalities of getting out of town after high school and starting their lives. Kya will be doing the same thing in two years, and I think this book could get her thinking realistically about her future.

The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) by Geoff Rodkey
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2015. 9780316297790.

This brand-new series by a popular screenwriter is a pitch-perfect, contemporary comedy featuring twelve-year-old fraternal twins, Claudia and Reese, who couldn't be more different...except in their determination to come out on top in a vicious prank war! But when the competition escalates into an all-out battle that's fought from the cafeteria of their New York City private school all the way to the fictional universe of an online video game, the twins have to decide if their efforts to destroy each other are worth the price.

Told as a colorful "oral history" by the twins and their friends, and including photos, screenshots, chat logs, online gaming digital art, and text messages between their clueless parents, The Tapper Twins is a hilariously authentic showcase of what it's like to be in middle school in our digitally-saturated world.

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Amazon | Powell's
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
Simon & Schuster, 2014. 9781442444959. 288 pages.

Link to this review by robert tagged coming of age

Teenager Finn Easton may be obsessed with death, but can you blame him? When he was seven, Finn's mother died because a dead horse fell on them from a bridge while they were taking a walk. In the time the horse fell off the bridge and hit them, the earth moved 100 miles in its orbit about the sun. Finn was crushed in the accident, and has suffered from severe epilepsy ever since. The distinctive scar pattern where Finn's spine was repaired looks like this:

:|:

His well-meaning father added to Finn's woes when he used Finn’s mismatched eyes and the scar pattern on his back as identifying features of the aliens in a popular science fiction novel.

Finn collects lore about a local man-made disaster, the 1928 St. Francis Dam collapse. He thinks of the world as a “knackery,” where people and things are constantly being rendered into components for reuse. (The dead horse that fell on Finn and his mom was on its way to the rendering plant.) He’s not some desperate loner, though. He's on his high school's baseball team with his best friend and star athlete, the uninhibited Cade Hernandez. Add to the mix the new girl, Julia, a transfer student who is lying low after a scandal. Finn’s attraction to her is mutual, and nurtured by outings into the desert (with Cade as chaperone). 

Everything is going well for Finn, better than ever, when Julia moves back home.

Why I picked it up: I saw it among the new YA fiction at my local library and the title intrigued me.

Why I finished it: Finn presents himself as a walking, talking, wisecracking identity crisis. Is he a science fiction character or a maimed boy? An adequate but not great high school athlete or the guy who, during an epileptic fit, pissed himself in front of the girl he likes? A young man with an open future or a collection of components for the knackery? The boy left behind or the young man on a road trip out of state for the first time? Finn's efforts to juggle these and to just be himself are recounted with humor and just the right amount of profanity. And he has an uncanny ability to turn any day into a good day, even the one during which he comes to after a seizure to find himself on a veterinarian's examining table.

It’s perfect for: My younger nephew and nieces, whose dogs love rolling in rotting animals like Finn’s dog Laika.  My college roommate, Hans Callenbach, who never had an otherworldly being named after him, but was sick and tired of meeting fans of his father’s book Ecotopia.

Readalikes: Notes from the Blender by Trish Cook features Declan, whose search for positive and uplifting Nordic death metal is misunderstood. Like Finn, folks think he’s far moodier than he really is. And a heavily fictionalized graphic novel about the life of the real Laika, after whom Finn named his dog, is Laika by Nick Abadzis.

The Land of Stories The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013. 9780316201568.

Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

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Amazon | Powell's
Oyster War by Ben Towle
Oni Press, 2015. 9781620102626. 168 pages.

Link to this review by geneambaum tagged graphic novel

The oyster business is the heart of Blood Haven, a town on Chesapeake Bay. The town loses about ten watermen a week to drowning (they’re superstitious and won't learn to swim), but the real problem is oyster pirates. Their special dredge not only removes the oysters, but will soon make the beds barren. Davidson Bulloch, who served in the Confederate Submarine Battery Service, is hired to eliminate the pirates using a specially outfitted steamship. Bulloch thinks the magic the pirates seek to employ is nonsense, and believes even a ragtag crew like his will make short work of the oyster thieves. Unfortunately, he’s mistaken on both counts.

Why I picked it up: Towle co-created the beautiful Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean. And Oyster War is beautiful, from its large size to the “mother-of-pearl” embossed title on the cover. 

Why I finished it: Towle’s subtle colors and the high-quality paper made this a pleasure to both look at and read. The action scenes, particularly the fights, are cartoony enough to look fun, but realistic enough to add to the tension. Plus there’s a selkie, a sea monster, a ghost, a decommissioned sub pressed back into service, and more. Good stuff.

It’s perfect for: Sarah loves to booktalk quirky books and pull odd details out of others to get teenage patrons to check them out. She’d love that a Marshall Islands stick chart, the Portuguese martial art jogo do pau, and Chessie all put in appearances in this one, and she’ll find just the right approach to get teens to snatch it out of her hands.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-5-12/Readathon_TipsReadathon Tips2016-05-12T00:00:00+00:002016-05-12T00:00:00+00:00
by Ang ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Readathondewey

Last week we told you about National Readathon Day. We were so taken with the idea that Gene and Chris put together the Readathon Tips you have been seeing this week. We hope you are enjoying them!

For more information on #Readathon2016 please visit their site.