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Adult Book Blog and Recommended Reads - Staff book reviews, fiction and non-fiction.

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The Media Maven's goal is to help you understand what resources and databases the library has access to, how to use them, and sometimes give reviews to books she thinks you might enjoy.

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Website stops delivery of unwanted catalogs

Do you remember that "Seinfeld" episode when Kramer takes an armload of unwanted Pottery Barn catalogs and throws them inside one of the company's stores?

Every feel like doing that? How do you stop getting those catalogs, anyhow?

Catalog Choice is a service that helps you opt out of catalogs that you don't want.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

In this story within a story, a lonely biographer is summoned to a remote estate to interview a reclusive best-selling novelist. In a race against time, the biographer tries to come to terms with her own identity while sorting out the truths of another's. Voted a "sure bet" by the Popular Materials Department.

Between the Tides by Pattie Callahan Henry

Between the TidesA strong senses of place and a quest for self-discovery propel the reader through this very engaging novel.

Keeping the World Away by Margaret Forster

Keeping the World AwayIn this novel an artist tells how a particular painting affected others.

Free audiobooks! Seriously...

There are a number of projects out in Webland to create and provide free audio recordings of books that are in the public domain.

Like, where volunteers record individual chapters of books in a collaborative framework. Nice!

Here's the link to the Librivox recording of Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. You can download individual chapters or a zip file of the whole enchilada.

There is also AudioBooksFor Free. The name says it all.

There are other similar audiobook projects/resources out there. Rather than write them all here, read this item from

Books about Fathers and Sons

The Ministry of Special CasesThe Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander

Kaddish Poznan, a Jewish man with a peculiar occupation and off-the-beaten-path sensibilities, is on a quest to find his disappeared son in 1970s Argentina. Written in lyrical prose and reminiscent of the bureaucratic absurdities of Kafka’s and Orwell’s novels, this is a story of the unavoidable rifts between fathers and sons, and a family’s descent into inescapable tragedy brought on by political unrest and gnawing questions of identity. A meaty and moving book, one that haunts and lingers.

A Long Stay In A Distant Land<A Long Stay In A Distant Land by Chieh Chieng

Louis Lum lives with his prickly father, Sonny, who listens to rap records as a way of coping with his wife’s death. The death of Louis’ mother is one in a long line of deaths that have hounded Louis’ extended family. This novel is a chronicle of their collective grief, their family myths, and their comic misadventures through each personal tragedy. Similar to The Joy Luck Club but a tad funnier and wackier. Good for picking up the soul off the floor.

The Beautiful MiscellaneousThe Beautiful Miscellaneous by Dominic Smith

Nathan Nelson, dogged by his father’s desire for a genius son, acquires synesthesia and a prodigious memory after a terrible car accident. Despite these new gifts, however, relations between Nelson and his father, a physics professor, continue to deteriorate.
In this novel, Dominic Smith captures the painfully awkward attempts of father and son to find a common language with which to explore their seemingly incompatible desires and personalities. Achingly beautiful prose and compelling characters make this a wonderful read.

A Good and Happy ChildA Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans

An eleven year-old boy, a difficult childhood, his father’s untimely death, rumors of demons real and unreal, and a cast of oddball characters are some of the ingredients of Justin Evan’s debut novel. Infused with questions of supernatural events, this is ultimately a story about the fears surrounding fatherhood (or parenthood, for that matter) and the precarious act of bringing a child into a perilous world. Gripping, quirky, edge-of-your-seat. Read in broad daylight....or not.

Bangkok Haunts

Bangkok Haunts by John Burdett

Royal Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, haunted in his dreams by a woman who once cruelly broke his heart, is charged with solving her gruesome murder, which was captured on high-quality video.

In this, the third novel in Burdett's Bangkok series, once again the author interweaves corruption and cruelty with Buddhist spirituality. The result is a dark, yet satisfying read. But fans of the series will enjoy this latest episode in the life of the only Bangkok police officer who doesn't take bribes.

A Delightful Culinary Read!

The Wedding Officer
by Anthony Capella

A British officer is sent to Naples during the Allied occupation to discourage soldiers from marrying Italian women. However he, too, falls in love with a beautiful Neapolitan widow who knows much about the art of love and cooking. A great literary treat from the author of The Food of Love!

Here If You Need Me

Here If You Need Me
by Kate Braestrup

This is the memoir of a woman who decided to become a minister after her state trooper husband was killed in a car accident. He had planned to become a minister after he retired from law enforcement, so she decided to do it in his stead. After getting her degree from the Bangor Theological Seminary, she becomes a chaplain for the Maine Warden Service.,the official U.S. government Web portal for kids, has been relaunched.

The site features web pages for kids, broken down in two age groups: Grades K-5, and Grades 6-8. There is also a section for educators.