Monday, August 30, 2010

Staff Pick: Christie

The River Why

By David James Duncan

When I was still just a customer at Manchester By the Book, Mark recommended this book to me. It honestly seemed sort of boring to me because it looked like it was just about fishing, and I don't really care either way for fishing, but I figured I might as well try it out and see what the fuss is about. I was floored by David James Duncan's beautiful (and humorous) storytelling and The River Why has since become one of my all-time favorite books. I guess I shouldn't have doubted Mark. Don't tell him I said that.

The River Why is the story of Gus, the fishing genius son of two very different fishers. When Gus graduates high school, he decides to rent a cabin on the edge of a river and create an Ideal Schedule, a schedule that allows the most possible time for fishing. Eventually, Gus's life of just fish starts to drive him a little wacko. After an unusual experience, Gus opens his life to new friends, philosophy, and even love.

Young Adult Fiction 8/30/2010

The Canning Season

by Polly Horvath

The Canning Season is the story of Ratchet, a girl whose mother cares more about her dreams of being a member of the Hunting Club than her. Ratchet is sent out of the blue to spend a summer in the Maine woods with her two 91 year old great aunts.

I absolutely loved The Canning Season to the point that I stayed late at work one day in order to finish it. Horvath has a great blend of slapstick humor and offbeat storytelling that kept me totally engaged and laughing aloud. This book is one-of-a-kind, that's for certain. The one warning I would give is that there are some uses of swear words that some readers may be too young for.

Early Readers 8/30/2010

Ivy and Bean

by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall

Ivy and Bean live across the street from each other. Both of their mom's keep telling them that they should play together, but both Ivy and Bean know that they will never be friends. Then, one day Bean needs to hide quick from her sister, and Ivy helps out!

Ivy and Bean is the start of a super fun series geared towards young girls. The two friends (that were never supposed to be friends) end up getting into funny predicaments and make up creative solutions to get out of them. This series is perfect for the young reader who is beyond illustrated books but not quite ready for chapter books.

Children's Illustrated 8/30/2010

Mr. Greedy

by Roger Hargreaves

Mr. Greedy loved to eat! The more he ate, the fatter he became. One day, after an exceptionally large breakfast, Mr. Greedy goes on an adventure where he is taught a lesson on being greedy.

Mr. Greedy is part of the quirky Mr. Men series by Roger Hargreaves. Each of the books tells a fun story with great illustrations. This is a great, quick read that is perfect for young readers!

Books to Read Before You Graduate High School!

Several months ago, Mark and I (Christie) compiled this list of must-read books before high school graduation. Combined, we have read every single one and each has passed a rigorous test of time and quality. So, see what you have read, and come and pick up what you haven't! Or just come in and guess who contributed what to the list.

Books to Read Before High School Graduation

Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice

Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 451

Ray Bradbury - Something Wicked This Way Comes

Albert Camus - The Stranger

Willa Cather - O Pioneers

Thomas Hardy - Tess of D'Ubervilles

Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter

Ernest Hemingway - Old Man and the Sea

Aldous Huxley - Brave New World

John Irving - A Prayer for Owen Meany

Jack Kerouac - On the Road

Ken Kesey - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

John Knowles - A Separate Peace

Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird

Carson McCullers - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Carson McCullers - Member of the Wedding

Larry McMurtry - Lonesome Dove

Flannery O'Connor - The Complete Stories

George Orwell - 1984

George Orwell - Animal Farm

Ayn Rand - The Fountainhead

Erich Maria Remarque - All Quiet on the Western Front

Antoine de Saint-Exupery - The Little Prince

J.D. Salinger - Catcher in the Rye

J.D. Salinger - Nine Stories

Dodie Smith - I Capture the Castle

John Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck - The Grapes of Wrath

Dylan Thomas - The Collected Stories

J.R.R. Tolkien - Lord of the Rings

Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse-Five

T.H. White - The Once and Future King

Oscar Wilde - A Picture of Dorian Gray

P.G. Wodehouse - Carry On, Jeeves

Tom Wolfe - I Am Charlotte Simmons

Richard Wright - Black Boy

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Updates and Events

Hello all!

It's been a good while since the last post. Don't worry, we will be updating this blog more frequently.

We have a bunch of fun stuff coming up in the next few months.

On Thursday, September 23, Katrina Kenison (author of Mitten Strings For God) will be here at 7pm to do a reading and a book signing. This will be a great event for parents.

On Friday, September 24 at 7:30pm, we will be having our first music night with local artist Heather Tobin. You can find more about Heather on our website.

On Saturday, October 15, Tony Gangi will be here to perform and do a reading from his book Carny Sideshows. This will definitely be a fun event for all ages.

We will keep you updated with when the next book club will be, along with our next poetry open mic night. See you soon!