As the nights grow longer and the days grow colder, it feels like it’s time to read something worthy of the weather outside. These novels create a chill that you are sure to feel deep in your bones. So get ready to curl up a cup of hot cocoa or mulled cider and settle in for some interesting reads.
Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell follows the harrowing tale of resourceful seventeen year-old Ree Dolly. Ree must save her family from losing their only home and meager land when it appears that her father has skipped out on bond following drug charges. This atmospheric novel creates a bleak reality for the Dolly’s by portraying issues of crime, drug abuse, and mental illness against the barren landscape of the Ozarks in winter. Be sure to watch the film starring Jennifer Lawrence after you read the novel.
The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg is the first novel in a popular Swedish mystery series following detective Patrik Hedstrom. The novel is set in the small coastal Swedish village of Fjällbacka. The story centers on Erica Falck, now a successful writer, who has returned to her hometown for her parents’ funeral only to discover that an old childhood friend has died in an apparent suicide. Eventually, Hedstrom and Falck team up to discover the true circumstances of the friend’s death. The harsh winter environment in which the story takes place creates an overall gothic and dark tone. If you’re looking for a different type of murder-mystery series, this is a good place to start.
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is a reimagining of the classic Russian fairy tale, set in Alaska in 1920, which follows a childless couple homesteading as a means of escaping past demons. One night, after building a child out of snow, the couple finds a small girl wandering by herself in the wilderness. The couple soon develops an intense love for the child. Ivey’s prose effectively conveys the loneliness, isolation, and love the characters feel, and juxtaposes these emotions against the brutal Alaskan landscape. Essentially, The Snow Child is a fairy tale for adults that is mature, while still being magical.
At the info desk, I’m getting even more requests than usual right now for the three books in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy. Maybe that has something to do with Catching Fire being the highest-grossing movie in the country right now (just a wild guess!).
If you want to borrow The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, or Mockingjay novels from SJPL right now, chances are pretty good you'll need to put yourself on the holds list first. You shouldn’t have too long of a wait before you can pick up or download your copy, however.
But even if you have more immediate Hunger Games needs and would like to be able to check something Hunger Games-related out of the library right now, you’ll find many of SJPL’s branches have interesting companion books waiting on the shelves for you to take home and enjoy. Try an advanced search by subject to look for "hunger games"-related material in our catalog.
Some of the things you could find include:
The World of the Hunger Games by Kate Egan.
A companion guide to Panem, the world in the "Hunger Games."
The Hunger Games: Tribute Guide by Emily Seife.
Provides profiles of the tributes from the twelve districts.
The Hunger Games and Philosophy: a Critique of Pure Treason Edited by George A. Dunn and Nicolas Michaud.
Examines the key characters, plot lines, and themes of the series while applying the perspectives of Charles Darwin, Thomas Hobbes, and Plato.
The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide by Creek Stewart.
Infused with themes and references from "The Hunger Games" books and movies, this survival field manual provides practical instructions for real-world skills, from building a shelter and finding water to making a fire and providing field first aid.
And if all this dystopian angst gets to be a bit much, maybe try:
The Hunger Pains
A parody from The Harvard Lampoon, starring Kantkiss Neverclean.
Readers of paranormal and supernatural studies are celebrating the life of Sylvia Browne whose funeral was held in Willow Glen this week. An internationally known psychic and author of 22 New York Times bestsellers, Browne’s books and predictions kept her in the spotlight nearly four decades.
Here is a selection of her books for the curious:
If you’re a fan of lighter fantasy with a romantic slant for younger adults, you might enjoy these five books:
Tell us what you liked or didn’t like about these books in a comment below. Want librarian recommended books just for you? Check out 5forU, a service for readers.
The new movie 12 Years a Slave chronicles the horrific experiences of a free born African American man who was kidnapped into slavery. It confronts a wholly uncomfortable aspect of our nation's history. My strongest feeling upon walking out of that movie was that all Americans need to be mindful of the weight of that history. We should all learn the stories of slaves such as Solomon Northup, especially in light of the fact that in his lifetime, our own legal system would not hear his testimony simply because he was black.
There is currently a waiting list for Solomon Northup’s 1853 book that lends its title and story to the current film. But at the time of this blog post, an anthology that includes Northup’s story is currently available on the shelf at King Library: Puttin' on ole massa; the slave narratives of Henry Bibb, William Wells Brown, and Solomon Northup. Bibb and Brown were both born as slaves. Both escaped and became prominent voices in the abolitionist movement.
Use our catalog to find other slave narratives in the collection.
Did you just finish a good book and still don't know what to read next? Try one of these resouces for your next pick.
Best Seller Lists
Reading Groups and Guides
Liliana Castañeda Rossmann, author of Transcending Gangs: Latinas Story Their Experience, will be appearing at the Biblioteca Latinoamericana on Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:00 pm. She details the girls’ journeys in and out of gangs in Santa Clara County. The talk highlights various reasons that girls give for joining a gang, the pathways to leave the gang lifestyle, as well as community efforts to support them.
Dr. Rossmann is a member of the Mayor's Gang Prevention Task of San Jose and a professor of Communication at California State University San Marcos.
El libro está escrito en inglés, pero la autora Liliana Castañeda Rossmann habla español y dará el programa bilingüe. La plática será de las razones porque las muchachas se integran en pandillas, como salen, y los esfuerzos de la comunidad para apoyarlas.
Thor: The Dark World, the latest installment of the Marvel's Cinematic Universe, is coming out this Friday, November 8! This will be the second Thor movie, taking place after the events in The Avengers. Can't wait for the movie? Want more Thor after the movie? Here are some suggestions to continue the adventures of Thor!
If you want to drive straight into the comics and kick it old school, Essential The mighty Thor. Vol. 1, Journey into mystery is by the man himself, Stan Lee, the god of Marvel comics. Also by Stan Lee, but more recently released, Thor: Tales of Asgard gives readers the legends behind Asgard's most wanted and history of Thor's supporting cast.
For something super new, the current running Thor series Thor: God of Thunder by Jason Aaron takes place during 3 points of Thor's life. Follow Thor during his past, present and future as he figures out who's been hunting gods.
For those who are unfamiliar with Norse Mythology, check out Myths of the Norsemen : retold from the old Norse poems and tales.
As the nights grow longer and the days feel cooler, fall is the perfect season to relish in the twisting and winding of a well written mystery. The women in these stories are complex characters brought to life by female authors who fuel their writing with the everyday struggles and triumphs of modern women; ideas of feminism, amoral behavior, mental illness, motherhood, justice, and fear commingle with the standard "whodunit" plot. A word of caution, most of these titles will keep you up into the wee hours of the night through thrilling plot twists as well as the deeper meanings held within their pages.