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Category Archives: Book Buzz

Catherine, Called Birdy

By: Karen Cushman
Published: ©1994
Pages: 169
Total Copies: 15
Genre: Fiction | Historical Fiction | Young Adult


Description: Catherine’s mother wants to teach her the skills of the lady of the manor and to prepare her to be a gentle and patient wife. Her father wants only to see her married off, and profitably. Catherine herself hopes to become a painter, a Crusader, a maker of songs, a peddler, a minstrel, a monk, a wart charmer . . . Off all the possibilities, she has ruled out only one: being sold to the highest bidder. Against a vivid background of everyday life on a medieval English manor, Catherine’s earthy, spirited account of her fourteenth year is a richly entertaining story with an utterly unforgettable heroine.

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Salt to the Sea

By: Ruta Sepetys
Published: ©2016
Pages: 418 (Includes Discussion Questions)
Total Copies: 15
Genre:  FictionYoung Adult | Historical Fiction | War, WWII


Description: World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the “Wilhelm Gustloff.” Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people adults and children alike aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

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The Alice Network

By: Kate Quinn
Published: ©2017
Pages: 503 (Includes Reading Group Questions)
Total Copies: 15
Genre: Fiction | Historical Fiction | War, WWI | War, WWII | Regional, Europe


Description: In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

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Station Eleven

By: Emily St. John Mandel
Published: ©2014
Pages: 333
Total Copies: 15
Genre:  Fiction | Science Fiction & Fantasy


Description: One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.”

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The Handmaid’s Tale

By: Margaret Atwood
Published: ©1986
Pages: 311
Total Copies: 15
Genre:  Fiction | Science Fiction & Fantasy | Books Made Into Movies


Description: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

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Hag-Seed

By: Margaret Atwood
Published: ©2016
Pages: 301
Total Copies: 15
Genre:  Fiction | Science Fiction & Fantasy


Description: When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution. Eventually he takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution, and is making a modest success of it when an auspicious star places his enemies within his reach.

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The Blue Castle

By: L.M. Montgomery
Published: ©1926, 2011, 2014
Pages: 248
Total Copies: 15
Genre:  Fiction | Historical Fiction | Love & Romance | Young Adult


Description: All her life, Valancy Stirling lived on a quiet little street in an ugly little house and never dared to contradict her domineering mother and her unforgiving aunt. Then she gets a letter—and decides that very day things need to change. For the first time in her life, she does exactly what she wants to and says exactly what she feels. At first here family thinks she’s gone around the bend. But soon Valancy discovers more surprises and adventure than she ever thought possible. She also finds her one true love and the real-life version of the Blue Castle that she was sure only existed in her dreams.

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The Chaperone

By: Laura Moriarty
Published: ©2012
Pages: 406
Total Copies: 15
Genre:  Fiction | Historical FictionRegional, American Northeast


Description: Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, KS, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a 36-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever. Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s, ’30s, and beyond—from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers, and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women—The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise, Cora, and others like them.

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When Breath Becomes Air

By: Paul Kalanithi
Published: ©2016
Pages: 225
Total Copies: 15
Genre:  Nonfiction | Biographies & MemoirsHealth & Medicine


Description: At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air, chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

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News of the World

By: Paulette Jiles
Published: ©2016
Pages: 212 (Includes Reading Group Discussion Questions)
Total Copies: 15
Genre:  Fiction | Historical FictionRegional, American Southwest


Description: In the aftermath of the American Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young orphaned captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this morally complex, multi-layered novel of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust. Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.

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