Friday, January 11, 2019

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Title: Shotgun Lovesongs
Author: Nickolas Butler
Genre: Fiction

Shotgun Lovesongs follows the lives of a group of friends as they grow older. The story is set in rural Wisconsin and really brings that small town feel. Main character Lee has found success as a rock star and still maintains relationships with the guys he grew up with. Along for the ride is Beth, a woman who grew up with them. The differences and similarities in the group of friends shine as more is revealed about their past and present lives. This is an excellent novel to curl up with as the temperatures start to drop.

- Jamie

Check out Shotgun Lovesongs @ the library.

Friday, January 4, 2019

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Genre: Historical Fiction

This story starts in January of 1946 and is told entirely through a series of letters. The majority of the missives are sent to/from Juliet Ashton, a British writer. Juliet had a successful wartime series, but is now looking to start a serious project. A letter out of the blue ends up inspiring her to visit Guernsey, a British island that was occupied by the Nazis during WWII. As Juliet gets drawn into the daily life of Guernsey and its inhabitants, she finds much more than the inspiration for her book.

The characters are what really shine through for this story. You can picture the people - you may even know someone in your acquaintance that comes to mind as they're described. 

As a bonus, because part of the tale is about a book club, you may be inspired to read some of the mentioned titles after this one!

- Sarah R.

Check out The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society @ the library.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Staff Favorites of 2018!

As 2018 draws to a close, we thought we'd round up a list of the WAPL staff's favorite reads from 2018!  Below you'll find our favorite Fiction, Non-Fiction, Teen, and Children's books of the year. Each list is sorted by the author's last name. Click on the book title to reserve a copy at the library!

Favorite Fiction Books of 2018 

  1. The Banker's Wife by Christina Alger: A page turner for me! It felt frighteningly timely and a little too real, but it was a fun fast read. 
  2. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker: A beautifully written, strongly feminist retelling of the Odyssey.
  3. The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin: A page turner that covered tough topics in a respectful and intriguing way. It makes you think about the mystical thing that is fate.
  4. Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller
  5. Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness: A continuation of the world encaptured in her earlier trilogy, this story explores the Revolutionary War through the point of view of a vampire who has lived through it all.
  6. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger: The main character reflects on the tragic deaths that occurred the summer when he was thirteen and the impact on his rural Minnesota community.
  7. I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon: There were interesting twists and turns and the story ‘stuck’ with me long after I read it!
  8. Severance by Ling Ma: A story about the apocalypse, millennials, and the things people choose to value.
  9. You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld: A near perfect collection of short stories!
  10. Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks: Dragon shifters, magic, elves, kidnapping and romance this book is the  perfect read for those who love paranormal romance and works well a standalone read despite being book 3 in the Embraced series.
  11. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware: A nice, suspenseful book full of the twists and turns you expect in a Ware novel.

Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2018

  1. WorkParty: How to Create & Cultivate the Career of Your Dreams by Jaclyn Johnson: Part memoir, part career/work path advice, WorkParty contains enough inspiration and ideas to help you reach your goals in 2019.
  2. Prep-Ahead Breakfasts & Lunches: 75 No-Fuss Recipes to Save You Time & Money by Alea Milham: This awesome book contains recipes that will help you not feel guilty about hitting the snooze button in the morning! The recipes make several portions that you can stash in the fridge or freezer for those days when you're running out of the house. I highly recommend the Peanut-Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats and the Apple Baked Oatmeal, they are simple to prep and delicious!
  3. G’Morning, G’night! Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda: A collection of tweets written by the author of the hit musical Hamilton, this book offers the perfect inspiration to turn around a rough day.
  4. The Lives of the Surrealists by Desmond Morris: Bite-sized biographies of some of the wildest characters of the early 20th century-written by someone who knew many of them personally. 
  5. Becoming by Michelle Obama: A glimpse into former First Lady Michelle Obama's life, before, during and after Barack Obama's presidency. It was especially interesting to read the passages of how she managed work-life balance and keeping her children leading as normal lives as possible considering their heavy security detail. 
  6. This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Phillips: This book was exactly what I wanted it to be—an honest, frothy story of Hollywood.
  7. Educated by Tara Westover: A great memoir about discovering that the world isn’t always what you’re told about it, and learning how to form your own opinions instead of just adopting those of others around you.

Favorite Teen Books of 2018

  1. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli: A great YA story depicting the struggle of coming out as bisexual in a warmhearted narrative that follows the events of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
  2. The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth: The second and concluding book in a story that explores the living within the fates that the world presents to us… and creating and re-writing our own fates through the choices we make in those very circumstances.
  3. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor: After the shocking end of Strange the Dreamer, the story of Lazlo and Sarai comes to an end as both the people of Weep and the godspawn above learn where they came from and who they are. 
  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Favorite Children's Books of 2018

  1. The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor: Mason grieves his best friend’s death as the adults around him try to understand the circumstances of the accident.
  2. Just Add Glitter by Angela DiTerlizzi: The illustrations are gorgeous, and the story is a great read aloud!
  3. We Don’t Eat Our Classmates! by Ryan T. Higgins: A hilarious story for all ages that teaches us we can’t eat our peers, even if they are delicious. 
  4. The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock: A lovely tale of a boy on a quest that pulled me in as each character’s depth and complexity grew.
  5. Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein: In this follow up to Interrupting Chicken, Chicken and Papa work on her homework, dealing with the element of surprise, and how yes an elephant in the story would be exciting.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Title: Seven Days of Us
Author: Francesca Hornak
Genre: Fiction

A novel that explores being in isolation with those closest to you. Olivia, doctor and grown daughter of Emma and Andrew, finally arrives home for Christmas after being away for a while helping victims of an epidemic overseas. She arrives home and the family is quarantined for the holidays in an effort to ensure Olivia has not contracted the virus she has been helping people fight. The good and the bad of family all comes out in this story as the characters struggle to make sense of one another's lives while dealing with their own issues. Throw in another wrench as a suprise guest shows up on their doorstep, someone nobody expects, who changes each of their lives forever. 

- Jamie

Check out Seven Days of Us @ the library.

Friday, December 14, 2018

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger

Title: When Life Gives You Lululemons
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction

Reprising the Emily Charlton character from her earlier novel Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger has Emily running her own business as an image consultant. Unfortunately a newer, social media savvy foe is stealing her would-be clients...until Karolina Hartwell. 

Karolina is a super model turned senator's wife who finds herself on the wrong end of a DUI charge. Worse yet, her husband, Senator Hartwell, seems more interested in cutting her loose than helping her out.

Miriam, mutual friend to Emily and Karolina, pitches in to provide moral support and dusts off the lawyer skills she put on the backburner to raise her family to try to help Karolina figure out what happened.

Will Karolina's name be cleared? Will she lose contact with the child she helped raise? Read this book to find out.

- Sarah R.

Check out When Life Gives You Lululemons @ the library.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer

Title: Hope Never Dies
Author: Andrew Shaffer
Genre: Mystery

Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer is a mystery and bromance featuring Former Vice President Joe Biden and Former President Barak Obama. Biden is having a hard time adjusting to life after the White House and resents seeing Obama having fun hanging out with celebrities. But then “Amtrak Joe’s” favorite conductor suddenly dies leaving behind a grieving family and mysterious clues. Who can Joe Biden trust to help him solve the case? This book is as fun and goofy as its cover. 

- Mary

Check out Hope Never Dies @ the library.

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Title: The Underground Railroad
Author: Colson Whitehead
Genre: Historical Fiction

This Oprah Book Club selection offers a glimpse of the trials and tribulations of slave life during the time of the underground railroad. The story's protagonist is Cora, a young slave girl who is abandoned by her mother who flees the plantation in the hopes of being free.

Cora's own journey via the underground railroad is fraught with peril, not knowing if at any moment she will be found by the persistant slave catcher, Ridgeway, if she will be betrayed by others, or if she will be discovered because of her own missteps.

Full of detailed prose that paints pictures of the time, the scene, and the horrors experienced, this book helps to shed light on the incredible journey shared by many African Americans searching for finding freedom.

- Sarah R.

Check out The Underground Railroad @ the library.