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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Audiobook Adventures: On the Road with Stories for the Whole Family

Posted by Tirzah

Summer is fast approaching and with summer comes family vacations! For some, that means long hours on the road and what better way to past the time than with audiobooks? Below are a few recommendations that I personally enjoyed while commuting or driving those long road trips. All of them are stories that the whole family are sure to enjoy. If you have little ones that are not quite ready to sit through a long audiobook, then check out our Kit Collection. Each Kit comes with a storybook and a CD with the book narration on it.




A Bear Called Paddington and More About Paddington by Michael Bond, narrated by Stephen Fry

If you are looking for a humorous story that the whole family will enjoy, then give Paddington Bear a try! The recent movies have made Paddington popular again, so some children may already be familiar with the bear from Darkest Peru. The narrator makes the listening experience enjoyable with his various voices.


The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, narrated by Cherry Jones

My mom read the Little House books to my siblings and me when we were little. I wanted to hear the story again as an adult, so I decided to try out the audio books. I think children especially would find this series interesting as the way of life is quite different from ours – no phones, no Internet, no vehicles, etc. A bonus is Pa’s fiddle playing you will hear, which is performed by Paul Woodiel.



Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, performed by the author
I always think it’s nice when authors narrate their own stories. This is such a wonderful story about love, devotion, and friendship. Children and adults alike can learn how to be better people by the attributes Charlotte displays.






The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner, narrated by Phyllis Newman

This series is a good choice for the mystery lovers out there. Its targeted audience is approx. 2nd-5th grade, but I think the whole family can enjoy the Alden’s different adventures and mysteries they solve.





 Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis, narrated by Various

Unlike many other people, I did not grow up reading C.S. Lewis's beloved Narnia books. I actually read it for the first time when I was 16. It is classic storytelling at its best with witches, dragons, magic, and so much more for fantasy lovers to enjoy. Each book is narrated by a different person and all of them are very good, although my favorite narrator is Kenneth Branagh (a.k.a. Professor Gilderoy Lockhart). We offer three of the audiobooks in Spanish!




Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, narrated by Nathaniel Parker

I must admit that I initially did not like this series. After reading the first book, I decided to give up on it until someone assured me it got better, so I gave it a second chance. That person was absolutely right. So if you decide to listen to Artemis and find the first one is mediocre, I encourage you to keep listening and you may fall in love with the characters like I did. It is a mix of fantasy, science fiction, and adventure.



The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, dramatized by BBC Radio

This excellent dramatization helped speed up many a long road trip. The cast is full of talented voices, including Ian Holm, Michael Hordern, and Bill Nighy. The music composed by Stephen Oliver is beautiful and adds to the mood of the story. For older kids and adults wanting an entertaining fantasy listen, this would be a great pick.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Meet the Staff: Candice G.

How many items do you have checked out right now? 1 item 

How many items are on your hold list?  No current holds

If you were a literary character, who would you be and why?
I would be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter Series. I love her quick wit and style.

What aspects of the library do you think are underutilized? 
The Genealogy Center

What is your favorite book format (book, audio, mp3, e-reader, etc.)?  
Hard-Cover novels

What book can you read again and again without losing interest? Why do you still read it?   
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. The novel explores the relationships between immigrant mothers and American born daughters in a complex and caring manner.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what single genre of books would you want with you? 

What was your favorite children’s book when you were a child? What is your favorite children’s book now?  As a child, my favorite book series was the Boxcar Children Mysteries. As an adult, my favorite children’s book series is the Junie B. Jones collection. 

What is your favorite aspect of working at the library?  
Discovering new book series and films.

What is your guilty reading (or listening) pleasure?     
The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith

What books do you feel guilty for not having read? 
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Have your reading habits changed since working at the library? If so, how?
My reading habits have improved since I’ve been working at the library. I have made a conscious effort to substitute television time for quiet reading moments.

What is your perfect reading environment? 
A quiet room with a glass of sweet tea.

Before you worked here, what was your worst library transgression?
Bending the corners of pages in borrowed novels.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

World War II Through Many Eyes

Posted by Dawn

I am not sure why, but I am forever reading about WWII and the people who lived through that time. I find the survivor memoirs so touching and in a way, inspirational. Their lives were so much harder than anything I have ever had to deal with in my 34 years. I am also very intrigued by the women who perhaps lived on the other side of that part of history and how they survived and then lived with the choices they made. I find so much strength in these stories, whether they are non-fiction or fiction. Here is a curated list of Holocaust/World War II books that give the reader a sense of what life was like from different points of view.


This book is about 3 pregnant Jewish women who survive the hardships of the concentration camps to give birth to their children. The children survive and form a bond because of the circumstances of their births.

This memoir is the story of one daughter’s survival of Auschwitz and her life after liberation. She finds her whole family has been murdered and she is all alone. She wrote this shortly after her liberation and in that way this is unique. Most memoirs of this type are written long after the fact.

"By looking at collaborators to resisters, actresses and prostitutes, as well as teachers and writers, including American women and Nazi wives, spies, mothers, mistresses, fashion and jewellery designers – Anne Sebba shows that women made life-and-death decisions every day, and, in an atmosphere where sex became currency, often did whatever they needed to survive." (Goodreads description)

This was a well-researched and well-written book that I learned a great deal from.

I found this story so intriguing because Ingrid was stolen from her Jewish parents and given to Nazi parents who were unable to have children. This goes against everything I thought I had learned about Hitler and Himmler and their idea of a perfect race. 
"The extraordinary love story of an American blueblood and a German aristocrat—and a riveting tale of survival in wartime Germany." (Goodreads description)

"From 1942 to 1944, twelve thousand children passed through the Theresienstadt internment camp, near Prague, on their way to Auschwitz. Only a few hundred of them survived the war. In The Girls of Room 28, ten of these children—mothers and grandmothers today in their seventies—tell us how they did it." (Goodreads description)
This story, however tragic the circumstances, is also uplifting in the tales of how the women chose to give them and others the will to survive.


This novel is based on a family and their harrowing tales of survival. The author did a great deal of research and the story is well written.

"Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship." (Goodreads description)

My Mother's Ring: A Holocaust Historical Novel by Dana Cornell 
I haven’t read this book yet but it is on my list to read soon.
"In My Mother’s Ring: A Holocaust Historical Novel, Henryk Frankowski feels compelled to pen his memoir and finally share his poignant story from his hospital bed as he lay dying. His carefree childhood as a Jewish boy in Warsaw, Poland is never far from his mind as he recalls the tumultuous world he endured during the Holocaust." (Goodreads description)

"A stunning debut novel of a young American woman who becomes a spy in Paris during World War II." (Goodreads description)