Posts Tagged ‘Regina’
2010 was an eventful year for the Lake Bluff Library—we got a new director, said goodbye to two long-time staff members, expanded our collection to include digital formats, and made plans to move forward with building improvements in the coming year. And of course, there were books. The Lake Bluff Library staff would like to share some of our favorite books that we read in 2010.
Carlen’s Top Reads of 2010
Fordlandia by Greg Grandin (2009—Adult Nonfiction): Very well-received adult non-fiction! Great for guys!
As Easy as Falling Off the Face of the Earth by Lynne Rae Perkins (2010—Juvenile Fiction): Teen loses cell phone reception, disaster ensues.
Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill (2009—Teen Fiction): Crazy and humorous! Teen girl “Bug” finds out her car, a classic 1958 Cadillac, is actually owned by the Devil. It’s a literal wild ride to save Bug’s soul and to keep her car!
Stitches by David Small (2009—Teen Fiction): Perfect balance of striking artwork and a heart-wrenching story line. This would be a great read for people who have not read a graphic novel before. It’s also a great book for adults, even though we have it in teen. (See full review here).
Solomon’s Thieves by Jordan Mechner (2009—Teen Fiction): The Crusades meet the graphic novel. Good artwork, and not “girly.”
Fables by Bill Willingham (2003—Teen Fiction): All your favorite fairy tale characters now living in the present but unknown by regular humans (Mundys). The first book is a murder-mystery (exciting)! The storyline increases in depth and keeps the reader interested in the following novels.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (2009—Teen Fiction): A harrowing, realistic view of anorexia from the victim herself. Very well-written and captivating.
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall (2009—Adult Nonfiction): Marathon runner McDougall examines human evolution with regards to running. The Tarahumara Indians of Mexico can run for hundreds of miles. Also a good guy read!
Donna’s Top Reads of 2010
Stuff of Legend by Mike Raicht (2010—Juvenile Graphic Fiction): In 1944, a young boy is kidnapped by the Bogeyman who takes him to the realm of the Dark. His playthings join forces to rescue him. Outstanding graphics; its themes of camaraderie, betrayal, bitterness, and redemption make this a page turner for all ages. (Recommended: 5th grade and up).
Forever Friends by Carin Berger (2010—Juvenile Picture Book): In the spring, a bluebird wakes a rabbit and they play together every day until the fall comes and it’s time for the bird to fly south with a promise to return in the spring. (Recommended: preschool and up).
Chi’s Sweet Home series by Konami Kanata (2004—Juvenile Graphic Fiction): This series is for cat lovers and manga lovers. It shows the adventures of the most obnoxiously cute kitten ever who finds a new home with a loving family. (Recommended: 3rd grade and up).
We are in a Book by Mo Willems (2010—Juvenile Early Reader): The genius of Mo Willems shines through in his latest addition to the Piggy and Elephant series. The main characters come to life as the reader magically enters the book. (Recommended: kindergarten and up).
Eliza’s Top Reads of 2010
Enola Holmes and the Case of the Gypsy Goodbye by Nancy Springer (2010—Juvenile Fiction): The final installment of Enola Holmes, who solves the puzzles and ciphers around her mothers disappearance while trying to stay under the radar of her older brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock.
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (1937—Juvenile Fiction)—Poirot is a really enjoyable character to follow through the classic beautifully wrought whodunits of Agatha Christie. Love triangles, jilted exes, follies of the rich and murder are on the menu for this one.
Middlemarch by George Eliot (1872—Adult Fiction)—Exquisite use of language and layered stories piled high with rich and extremely complex, flawed but sympathetically human characters. This story follows several families in a small town at a time of change.
At Home by Bill Bryson (2010—Adult Nonfiction): I would read anything this man writes, as he traces history’s footsteps through the house.
Eric’s Top Reads of 2010
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (2010–Juvenile Fiction): Overcame the middle book slump of Catching Fire to provide a gripping conclusion that defied (rather than caved into) series expectations.
Slow Horses by Mitch Herron (2010–Adult Fiction): It’s that rare espionage thriller that gets the balance exactly right: the characters are allowed to be credibly intelligent spies and are given a credibly thorny problem that they unravel in a well paced and believable way. (See Eric’s full review here).
Echo by Jack McDevitt (2010–Adult Fiction): This is just a great series in general, with archeologists and collectors studying the history of a space traveling humankind 10,000 years from now. (For Eric’s full review, click here).
Work Song by Ivan Doig (2010–Adult Fiction): Okay, so this is the sequel to Whistling Season and if you’ve read that, you can’t pass on this. It stands on its own well enough, though, and Morris Morgan is a fantastic protagonist.
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (2009–Adult Fiction): This is a very hit-or-miss book, love or hate, but it worked for me. I liked the universality of the novel and the slow unfolding of the story in lovingly described everyday scenes. (See Eric’s review here; for Carlen’s review, click here).
Knuffle Bunny Free by Mo Willems (2010–Juvenile Picture Book): Another book that not everyone loves, but it really worked for me. On the one hand, it’s a story about sharing and how in giving something away it’s possible to end up with more than you had ever imagined. It’s also a tale of growing up, putting away childhood things, and then finding them again when you have children of your own.
Martha’s Top Reads of 2010
The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson (1982—Teen Fiction): The wit and charm of the prose and the well-rounded ensemble of characters made this novel delightfully entertaining and really showcased Ibbotson’s talent with words.
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (2009—Adult Fiction): Cherie Priest does incredible justice to an almost dangerously inventive premise. The characters are vivid and the alternate history is well executed and rather strangely realistic. (See full review here).
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (2009—Adult Nonfiction): An intensely vivid account of a Syrian American business owner in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (2007—Adult Nonfiction): I came away from this book wanting to raise my own chickens and farm the front lawn. Highly recommended for fans of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman (2009—Teen Fiction): Poignant, thoughtful, and utterly heartbreaking, If I Stay is a beautiful examination of family relationships. Break out the Kleenex box for this one. (See full review here).
The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart (2005—Juvenile Fiction): Ruby Oliver is laugh-out-loud funny, intensely relatable, and a wonderfully well-drawn character. E. Lockhart is a talented author who effortlessly captures the spirit, diction, and drama of high school. (See full review here).
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater (2009—Teen Fiction): Sequel to Stiefvater’s Lament (see my review here). I loved Lament, but Ballad was even better. Stiefvater’s take on Celtic mythology is compelling and the narration is beautifully written and uniquely voiced.
Matt’s Top Reads of 2010
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris (2010—Adult Nonfiction)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson (2010—Adult Fiction)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2008—Juvenile Fiction)
The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins (2009—Adult Nonfiction)
Fever Dream by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (2010—Adult Fiction)
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (2003—Adult Nonfiction)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (2010—Juvenile Fiction)
Regina’s Top Reads of 2010
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride (2010—Teen Fiction): Funniest horror story I’ve ever read; clever, suspenseful, and witty.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847—Adult Fiction): Brilliant! First Gothic romance of Western literature laced with proto-feminist ideals.
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (2010—Teen Fiction): For those who love a dark, truly creepy tale. (See full review here).
Bruiser by Neil Shusterman (2010—Teen Fiction): Raises compelling ethical questions of friendship and sacrifice. (See full review here).
Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland (2009—Juvenile Picture Book): Laugh-out-loud illustrations accompany gentle message.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (2009—Juvenile Fiction): Gentle, thoughtful rendering of life of 12 year old Callie at the turn of the last century.
Guys Read: Funny Business edited by Jon Scieszka (2010—Juvenile Fiction): Compilation of short stories written by guys for guys. Will appeal to anyone who is a brother, has a brother, been a father, mother, or grandparent, or has male friend—in other words, everyone!
Dr. De Soto by William Steig (1982—Juvenile Picture Book): Classic about the clever mice who out-fox the fox!
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger (1961—Adult Fiction): Salinger’s classic about two members of the gifted Glass family explores themes of Zen Buddhism, Christianity, modern psychology, and spiritual growth.
Let’s Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile (2009—Juvenile Picture Book): two boys attempt to “do nothing” but their imaginations get in the way.
List compiled by Martha
This is the story of two young women. Andi Alpers lives in Brooklyn Heights, attends the prestigous St. Anselm’s Academy, and is a brilliant musical prodigy. She is also suicidal. She feels solely responsible for the death of her younger brother, Truman, and most of the time, her meds don’t do enough to keep her overwhelming grief at bay. Andi’s artistic mother is virtually catatonic, and her father is an absent, Nobel Prize winning geneticist who fled the household after Truman’s untimely death. Andi is told by the school principal that she is flunking out and faces expulsion if she does not have the outline and opening paragraphs of her senior thesis turned in after winter break. Much to her surprise, Andi’s father shows up the day winter break begins, and announces that she will accompany him to Paris, where he has work to do and where he will oversee her progress on her thesis.
Alexandrine Paradis lived in Paris over two centuries ago, and was the companion of Louis-Charles, the son of Queen Marie Antionette and King Louis XVI. Andi discovers a diary left behind by Alexandrine describing her days with young Louis-Charles and the events leading to the French Revolution. Swept up in the diary, Andi can’t help but identify with Alexandrine’s circumstances, forming a strong emotional and psychological bond with the brave French girl who risked her life for the sake of the helpless, imprisoned young Dauphin. Donnelly skillfully takes the reader back and forth between Paris of today and Paris of the 1790’s. Eventually, past and present become entwined, as the links between Andi’s life, her father’s research, and Alexandrine’s circumstances grow so strong that parallel worlds collide. Donnelly’s historical research is impeccable, and readers will love the way she connects musical progression and derivation from the classical musicians to Leonard Bernstein, Led Zeppelin, and Radiohead. Revolution is one of those stories that will appeal to a wide audience. While the book can be found in our Teen collection, adult fans of well-researched, well-written historical fiction will find much to enjoy here. Historical Fiction.
Mackie Doyle would like the townspeople of Gentry to think that he is just like any other sixteen year old. However, he is a Replacement, a being from under the slag heaps of the old mine at the edge of town. Every year, an infant disappears from Gentry and is replaced with one of these strange beings—things not quite human that always sicken and die within of few weeks of coming up from underground. How did Mackie survive to teenhood? Who is taking the human babies and why haven’t the people of Gentry put a stop to these abductions? Mackie has lived among the humans long enough to want to put a stop to the infanticide and free the people of Gentry from the terror and silence that grips them. When the baby sister of the beautiful and intriguing Tate disappears, Mackie must decide whether to take on the sinister forces that lurk below and face the truth about who he really is. This is a truly original tale, written in the voice of an unlikely hero. The author skillfully and eerily juxtaposes the beautiful and the hideous in this memorable story. Horror/Romance
Maya is a fifteen year old science whiz whose con-man father has kept them running from place to place ever since she can remember. When the authorities finally catch up with her father and put him in jail, Maya is sent to a halfway house for foster kids. Her father soon relinquishes custody of Maya to the state of Nevada, yet states that Maya has an Aunt Sarah. The authorities brush aside his claims as yet more lies when their search for Aunt Sarah is unsuccessful. Maya decides to find Aunt Sarah on her own, escapes from the halfway house, and suddenly becomes a homeless runaway following a very cold trail to the only family she may have left. During her grueling and harrowing journey, Maya begins to realize that her scientific approach to life does not always take human frailty and needs into account. She becomes aware that not all of life’s circumstances fall into easy categories of black or white, good or bad, right or wrong. Maya’s character and the characters of her two unlikely traveling companions are fully fleshed-out and believable. Don’t let the rather boring title and book cover fool you–this story is fast-paced and well-written! Gritty, yet thought-provoking Realistic Fiction.
Sixteen year old Tennyson is furious when he learns that his twin sister, Bronte, is dating the odd and somewhat frightening Bruiser, but Bronte insists that Bruiser is just misunderstood. Tennyson eventually realizes that Bruiser is a sensitive, intelligent guy, but then the twins begin to notice something unusual. Bruiser appears to take on the pain (both physical and emotional) of those he cares for. Should Tennyson allow Bruiser to take on the cuts and contusions he gets from the lacrosse field? Should Bronte and her family let Bruiser take over the emotional turmoil that is engulfing them? Is feeling nothing a gift or a curse? Are Bruiser’s abilities a gift or a curse? This book raises compelling issues about friendship and sacrifice. Realistic Fiction that poses philosophical and ethical questions.
An old Sicilian folktale about dealing with the Devil gets a new look in this story of a wealthy young man who loses everything in the eruption of Mt. Etna in the late 12th century. Don Giovanni is an arrogant, willful, spoiled young man who, in desperation, takes a bet offered by the Devil that he will gain back all he has lost if he will not bathe, groom, wash, or change his clothing for 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days. As time passes and Don Giovanni’s outward appearance becomes more like that of an animal, he experiences an internal transformation and learns the value of real friendship, patience, humility, and love. A fun re-telling of a classic. This is a Folktale for Grownups!
Fifteen year olds Blake, Sim, and Kenny have just attended the funeral of their best fried, Ross, who was killed by a motorist while riding his bike. The three boys agree that the funeral was pointless and insulting to the memory of Ross–no one who even knew Ross well spoke at the service! Ross had always spoken wistfully of moving to the town of Ross, Scotland, where he was certain he would “find himself” and become a great writer. The boys decide to give Ross a fitting memorial by stealing the urn containing his ashes and going on a 261 mile road trip from Cleethorpes, England, to Ross in southern Scotland. The events along the way provide plenty of laughs for the reader, yet the boys come to discover that it is easy to ignore certain difficult truths that are staring you right in the face. If you have aspirations to be a filmmaker, keep this one in mind–it would make a great movie! Funny and poignant Realistic Fiction.