The next Big Library Read is coming this October and we want your help in selecting the title the whole world will be reading! The genre this time around will be Juvenile/Young Adult and our publishing partners have provided a number of great titles to choose from. Now that we have the submissions from the publishers we want you to tell us which title we’ll all be reading!
To vote simply go to the survey and pick which title you’re most interested in reading. Voting will be live until August 24th at which point we will reveal the winning selection! Let your voice be heard and help decide the next Big Library Read title!
It happens a couple times a year that you come across a book that hits all the right notes and leaves you wandering around the house afterward wondering what you do with yourself now that you are finished with it. I found myself in this state of ennui last night after finishing J. Ryan Stradal’s extraordinary foodie novel Kitchens of the Great Midwest.
Eva Thorvald has a gift. Her palate is beyond compare and her intelligence and taste are exceptional. Throughout the novel the reader spies on Eva as she matures in her taste and understanding of ingredients. From walleye caught and grilled directly after, to the perfect variety of heirloom tomato, and corn fresh off the stalk, the novel follows a young woman who becomes a legend in the food world. Eva eventually runs a dinner club whose waiting list is hundreds deep and so secret that it changes location. The final chapter in the novel reveals Eva’s true prowess and brings all the ingredients that have shaped her young life together.
Each chapter of the novel is from a different perspective. From her father, to her, her cousin, a boyfriend, and then people she has brief encounters with. The novel moves from direct contact and insight into our main character to a distant glimpses of her. It is a wonderful set up to reflect how elusive and legendary she becomes. Likewise, the ingredients and dishes featured in each chapter build up. Each of them eventually make their way into the dinner at the end of the book and are a reflection of who our chef is. They are a testament to the foodie world and how different people look at food and utilize it. One story of a woman who makes contest winning peanut butter bars then takes them to a competition where all the other recipes state where the ingredients are sourced from is the perfect example of the clash of cultures.
Underneath all the food and ingredients that marry the novel together is the story of individual struggles and characters that are beautifully flawed. Often when reading books that diverge from the main character’s side, I get upset because I’ve formed a relationship with that person, but I found myself digging into each new chapter with vigor, wanting only to consume a new person’s story.
Pick this novel up. Read it with a glass of wine, iced tea, or a sandwich (you’re going to want to eat/drink something tasty while reading it), and revel in the perfect marriage of ingredients that J. Ryan Stradal lays before you.
reviewed by Adam Sockel, Collection Development at Overdrive
How often do we walk past people that might be in need of our help and do nothing? How often do we toss a few dollars or coins at someone that looks like they could use more? How much can we trust someone we don’t really know?
In Mary Kubica’s Pretty Baby, Heidi Wood sees a young girl struggling with a baby on the platform of the train station one chilly day. For a few days after, Heidi keeps seeing that same girl, and wonders if there is anything she can do to help. When she can’t stand it any longer, Heidi offers to take the girl, Willow, and her baby in and help get them on their feet.
Heidi’s husband, Chris, is less than welcoming to the thought of a homeless girl and her infant child staying in his home. As Chris and Heidi learn more and more about Willow and her history, they have to decide how far they’re willing to go for a stranger. Things become complicated when people start to get attached.
I must admit that I am already a fan of Kubica. Last year, I read The Good Girl and the suspense and plot twists of that story were amazing. I anticipated that the newest work from Kubica, Pretty Baby, would be just as psychologically thrilling and exciting and I was right.
I won’t give away any spoilers but I promise you, the ending is a crowd-pleaser. With each chapter, the reader gains more and more information on the fates of these people and what they might be hiding. A tangled web leads to a pretty large confrontation.
If you’re looking for a new read in the veins of Tana French, Paula Hawkins or Gillian Flynn then this is the book for you.
reviewed by Emma Kanagaki, Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive.
Carol Burnett said it....."I'm so glad we had this time together.....comes a time we have to say so long."
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee is "a wonderful new novel from one of America's bestselling authors which explores the tensions between a local culture and a changing national political agenda". Look for family arguments and love. It's an instant classic.
Looking for read-alikes? Check these out!
Every year in the middle of July ESPN host’s their annual award show, the ESPY’s. The show honors the best athletes and athletic moments of the year but the most meaningful awards of the night are The Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. The Arthur Ashe award is given to a person whose actions transcend sports. The first recipient was Jim Valvano, the coach who the Jimmy V award for Perseverance was named after. Coach Valvano’s acceptance speech is perhaps the most famous in recent history and certainly the most meaningful as it launched The V Foundation for cancer research.
ESPN now considers the day of the ESPYs as #JimmyV day where they auction off prizes and experiences to raise money for the V foundation. Valvano’s motivational words to make sure you “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” have touched millions. Someone else who Jimmy V inspired was Stuart Scott, who received the Perseverance Award for the way he battled cancer until the final days of his life.
Stuart also left a lasting legacy and memory during his acceptance speech when he reminded the world that, “When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live. So live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”
Shortly before he passed away Stuart Scott wrote his memoirs, a love letter to life itself, inspiring the world to keep fighting or, as Jimmy V would put it, “Don’t ever give up.”
Checkout/download Stuart’s book. Today may be #JimmyV day but these moving stories of battling cancer can raise awareness about the fight of this disease all year long. Jimmy V As Jimmy V would put it, “That’s a full day.”
written by Adam and Jason Sockel, brothers who work at OverDrive. FYI.....Jimmy V is an idol to them both.
Who says you can't have your very own inhouse theater? You can with the library. Did you know that your Library offers streaming videos? We do, and there are two options.
The first option for streaming videos comes from our newest product called Hoopla.
Borrow 30 titles per month with a 72 hour checkout for movies.
Find Disney, family movies, independent cinema, documentaries, award winners, and comedies within the collection. All titles are available for streaming using hoopladigital.com on a PC/Mac.
Borrowed titles are only available for download on mobile devices, such as iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch) and supported Android phones or tablets.
For additional support, visit this webpage.
The second option comes from OverDrive, offering it's line of streaming videos that includes Paddington Bear (kids), and Highlander (adults).
Borrow and watch free movies right in your web browser, without having to download files or use special software. Similar to all other formats that is offered, the checkout limit is 10 at a time.
Streaming videos work on mobile devices and computers as long as you're using an up-to-date browser with HTML5 support (such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer).
Some videos have extra permissions (digital rights) that are set by the publisher and may restrict how you can watch the video. For additonal help with streaming videos, visit this page. (http://help.overdrive.com/customer/portal/articles/1482054)
Your library offers additional entertainment options such as emagazines, comics, and music. Check it out!
Guess what? Both e-books and comics have been added to CPPL’s entertainment collection from Hoopla. Now users can borrow these formats along with audiobooks, movies, TV shows. These two newly added formats have a borrow time of 2 weeks.
To make this the ultimate superhero encounter, here's your chance to experience all of the DC Comics close-up action with hoopla’s Action View – our immersive-reading technology!
Hoopla takes pride in announcing the addition, today, of DC Comics and Vertigo to you. And, just like heroes are known to do, all the iconic DC Comics Superheroes have arrived just in the nick of time for the Library's summer reading program theme of “Heroes”! Speaking of which, have you signed up for this year's Summer Reading Program for kids, teens, and adults? Hello? Now's the time!
Hugely influential graphic novels The Dark Knight Returns, All-Star Superman, Watchmen, and The Killing Joke are just a taste of what to expect. The Vertigo imprint is also represented as well, with Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Vol. 1 joining our ranks.
Here are a few features for both formats when using Hoopla’s app (Android, iOS, Kindle fire tablets and other mobile devices).
- The reading feature in the app includes options similar to Amazon's Whispersync with the ability to read a book across multiple devices and the options to adjust fonts, line spacing, columns and background.
- For comic book fans, a feature called "Action View" enlarges individual panels with a double tap for easier reading on mobile devices.
Looking for quicker way to search for fiction or nonfiction eBooks or audiobooks? What if there were quick links for finding eBooks and audibooks for children or teens? There is!
Visit the digital collection from OverDrive to see the newly expanded subject list on the front-page. Find separate lists for eBook fiction and nonfiction, audiobook fiction and nonfiction, and a list for Children & Teen.
As part of the OverDrive Summer Read program young readers at participating schools and libraries can read The Fat Boy Chronicles without waitlists or holds through July 9. Recently we spoke with the authors, Diane Lang and Mike Buchanan about their experiences writing this book.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
Diane: When Mike and I were at a book signing for another novel, a young teen approached us and asked if he could tell us his story. At the time, Doug Hennig was a sophomore in high school, and seemed very athletic and fit, yet when he was in junior high he was very obese and bullied by his classmates, similar to Jimmy Winterpock in ‘The Fat Boy Chronicles.’ Mike Buchanan and I decided to tell his story to help kids who are bullied because of their weight, or because they seem different from others, and to help kids understand how much their bullied peers suffer. We hoped the book would be a starting point for conversations about bullying, and we hoped the book would create empathy in teens for others.
What was your experience like while writing this book?
Mike: Even though the story is fiction, there is still a lot of truth in it. Many of the scenes are borrowed from our own experiences as teachers and from our lives. When I would work on the more painful days of Jimmy’s life, I would often reflect on my own school days. I would remember how it felt to left out because of being the smallest kid in class. And, regretfully, I would remember the days in which I was the bystander, the times in which I did nothing by watch the victim get bullied. Those days in particular haunt me still. But when I was writing about the entertaining part of being in school, there are many times I laughed out loud.
What do you hope readers take away from The Fat Boy Chronicles?
Mike: I hope the reader will gain a new confidence in themselves and an appreciation of how they truly can change the life of someone else. And “changing” can have two meanings. One is that through your actions, or lack thereof, you have the capacity for destroy a person’s self esteem, restrict their potential as a human and sometimes even cost them their lives. On the other hand, you have within you the opportunity to be a hero for someone, to make a difference in their life that they will remember forever. And all is costs you is a few moments of sitting with them at the lunch table, a simple phrase of “how about leaving them alone?” or being a real friend when someone needs you.
What do you remember about your local library growing up?
Diane: As a child I loved browsing the library, and without the library, I would have never found such wondrous books as “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” “Girl of the Limberlost,” and “Anne of Green Gables.” Some of my other favorite books as a teen were “East of Eden,” “The Pickwick Papers,” and “Sister Carrie.” My all time favorite novel is “All the Kings Men” by Robert Penn Warren.
I think parents should take their children to the library as soon they are old enough to walk. My dad loved to read, and he was the one that took me to library before I was old enough to put sentences together. My dad turned me on to “Little Women” and “Ivanhoe,” among many other well-known books.
Any Advice to young writers?
Diane: My advice to young writers is to READ, READ, and READ. Almost through osmosis, a person who reads a lot of books learns the structure and the nuances of good writing.
Mike: No matter what it is you write about-write! Even if you just write about your day at school, each time you put your words on paper, you get closer to learning your own voice.
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