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Weyenberg Library Blog


Aug 17

Debut Authors

Posted on August 17, 2015 at 3:56 PM by Craig Jacobson

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What do Sense and Sensibility, Pickwick Papers, Jane Eyre, A Study in Scarlet, The Time Machine, This Side of Paradise, and The Catcher and the Rye all have in common?  All of these books were the first book written by the author and each one was very successful.  I can’t imagine be able to write a book, let alone one that is well received by the public!  Listed below are several successful debut novels that you may want to try.

etta and otto.jpgIf any of you have a bucket list, Etta and Otto and Russell and James might appeal to you.  Etta has never seen the ocean and so this eighty-three-year-old decides one day that she will just walk the 3,200 kilometers to go check it out.  Her husband Otto understands in his own way as he remembers his journey many years ago to a foreign country to fight in a war that still haunts him to this day.  Their friend Russell undertakes a different kind of journey to go after the woman he has loved from afar.  As for James, you’re just going to have to read the book to see where he fits in this adventure of friendship, love, hope, and honor. 

ice twins.jpgIf you enjoy terrifying psychological thrillers, then you might enjoy, The Ice Twins.  Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to a tiny Scottish island a year after one of their identical twin daughters dies in an accident.  They hope this move will be a new start for them, but all that changes when their surviving daughter, Kristie, claims they have mistaken her identity, that she is Lydia.  What exactly happened that day of the accident? 

girl train.jpgAnother debut psychological thriller would be The Girl on the Train.  Every day Rachel takes a commuter train to work.  As the train rushes her to work it also allows her to peek into the lives of the people she passes every day.  Their lives all seem so perfect compared to her own life and the loss she is enduring.  On one of the signal stops, Rachel witnesses something so surprising that she reports what she saw to the police.  Little does she know how that one act will change her life forever as well as all the people involved in that one moment of time.

good girl.jpgThe Good Girl is another thriller debut.  When Mia Dennett is stood up by her on-again/off-again boyfriend, she sees no harm having a one night stand with the charming Colin Thatcher.  Little does she know that he’s been watching her every move the last few days.  It’s his job to abduct her as part of an extortion plot, but why does he take her to some secluded cabin in Minnesota rather than handing her over to his deadly superiors?

martian.jpgWe are all aware of the space walks on the moon.  Imagine being the first man to walk on Mars?  In, The Martian: a novel, Mark Watney is one of those to take that walk which may turn out to be his last.  As he is caught up in a dust storm, the rest of the crew is forced to evacuate thinking that he was killed in the storm.  Mark has no way to communicate to Earth that he has survived.  Even if he were able to signal Earth, they would not be able to rescue him before his supplies ran out.  Will all of his ingenuity be enough to ride this out?

sunlight night.jpgThe Sunlit Night is a romance debut that takes place at the top of the world in Lofoten, which is ninety-five miles above the Artic Circle.  After her college graduation, Francis just  wants to get away from it all- her claustrophobic childhood home, a painful breakup, her parent’s recent divorce, and her younger sister’s engagement. The offer of a painting apprenticeship in Norway is too good to pass up.  Meanwhile, Yasha is drawn to this remote part of the world to carry out his father’s dying wish to be buried at the top of the world.  It is here that Francis and Yasha have learned how to be alone, but as their paths cross a special bond is formed and love gives them a special place in this world to handle the turmoil of this world.

house of echoes.jpgDo you like Gothic style mysteries without the vampires and zombies, then House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy would be your book.  Pretty much everything that could go wrong for Ben and Caroline Tierney, goes wrong.  Ben is an author and his second book is not succeeding.  Caroline has lost her banking job and they are having problems with their eight-year-old son Charlie.  Ben inherits land from his grandmother in upstate New York, and they decide that moving there would allow them to start over.  Their new home is near Swannhaven, a village locked in time.  The more Ben and Caroline learn about the village, the more they realize that something is wrong, but can they get their family out in time.

If you’re looking for something new, give one of these debut authors a try!  Happy reading!

Book covers courtesy of Easicat.

Aug 03

From Pluto with Love

Posted on August 3, 2015 at 4:06 PM by Craig Jacobson

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From Pluto with Love.jpgOn July 14th, NASA’s New Horizons space craft sent the highest resolution image of Pluto that Earthlings (at that time) had ever seen, arriving at the former planet 9 years and 3 billion miles after leaving Earth. Scientists are excited to see what we’ll learn about the distant dwarf planet. While we wait, catch up on why Pluto isn't a planet anymore, tour the solar system, check out the other 5 recognized dwarf planets, and explore Deep Space.

Pluto Magazines.pngAlthough few books have had the time to address the newly acquired data on Pluto, National Geographic and Astronomy magazines have both put out recent issues discussing the New Horizons mission, including in National Geographic’s case, a special interactive edition available for e-readers.

Death of Pluto.pngIn 2006, the same year that New Horizons launched, the International Astronomical Union concluded (after substantial debate) that Pluto does not qualify as a planet and is instead a “dwarf planet.” Astronomers Mike Brown and Neil deGrasse Tyson have written about the discoveries of far-flung objects – some even larger than Pluto – that led to Pluto losing its “planet” title.

Tyson also talks about the angry-if-earnest mail he’s received from kids (and sometimes adults) imploring him to restore Pluto to planethood: “Pluto is my faveret [sic] planet!!! You are going to have to take all of the books away and change them. Pluto is a planet!!!!!!!” read one, while another skipped right to the point: “Pluto is a planet because I say so.” Whole classrooms (even fictional ones) campaigned to restore Pluto’s status to no avail.

Pluto Fiction.pngPluto has readily captured the public imagination since its discovery in 1930. Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft conceived of an alien race that had colonized Pluto in his “Whisperer in Darkness” short story and many science fiction writers consider it humanity’s last waystation before heading for the stars. In the Japanese anime/manga series Sailor Moon, Sailor Pluto guards the door to Space and Time. Other writers have examined the life of the man who discovered the planet, Clyde Tombaugh.

Dwarf  Planets Comparison.pngOf course, Pluto now has an entire class of objects named after it instead: the Plutoids. Right now there are only four Plutoids – Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris but astronomers expect to discover more. In fact, a number of amateur astronomers with only backyard telescopes peer into the night sky searching for roving asteroids and the next undiscovered planet.

Want to explore more? Check out the astronomy section at the Library (call numbers 520-529) or try these books about unmanned space exploration:
Curiosity: an Inside look at the Mars Rover Mission
Interstellar Age: Inside the 40-Year Voyager Mission

Image Credits:
Dear Earthlings image: http://imgur.com/gallery/aAt54Nm
Size comparison of dwarf planets: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/ice-dwarf/en/
Magazine covers courtesy of Zinio
All other images courtesy of Easicat

Jul 20

Fun Hammock Reads!

Posted on July 20, 2015 at 11:38 AM by Craig Jacobson

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hammock.jpgHeading up north this summer with your family? In honor of National Hammock Day on July 22, here are a few new adult reads to relax with in your hammock:

Fiction:
The Guest Cottage-Nancy Thayer
Sophie Anderson has lived a very structured life; the calm, voice of reason for her husband and two children. But when Sophie’s husband announces he is leaving her for another woman, she feels lost and in desperate need to get away. And so, with her children in tow, Sophie rents a summer house, hoping the distraction will be what they all need to heal.
Trevor Black, software entrepreneur who has recently lost his wife, is looking for the same escape from reality when he unknowingly rents the same beach house for him and his heartbroken son, Leo. Determined to make the best of things, the two agree to share the house and in the process discover a great deal about themselves and what the future holds. The Guest Cottage is a beautifully written novel about finding oneself after loss. This is one summer read you won’t want to miss.

Hugo-Rose.jpgHugo & Rose-Bridget Foley
Rose’s ordinary life is failing to impress her, especially compared to the vividly exciting world she inhabits in her dreams. As the result of a childhood accident, Rose’s dreams take her to a magical island that she’s shares with Hugo, a brave hero whom she adores. But what happens when Rose meets Hugo in real life? How will she react?  Hugo & Rose is a fun read that stimulates the imagination. You are sure to enjoy Rose’s dream world and root for her as she attempts to balance the real with the imaginary.

Wonder Garden-Lauren Acampora
Looking for something with a bit an edge? Wonder Garden is just the book for you.  Acampora brings you a series of stories from the people of Old Cranbury, a sweet-seeming suburban town. What happens behind closed doors? Who’s living a double life? What is everyone hiding? This creepy and complex read will open your mind to what may be happening in the lives of those around you.

Non-Fiction
bornsurvivors.jpgBorn Survivors: three young mothers and their extraordinary story of courage, defiance, and hope-Wendy Holden
In this extraordinary true account, three pregnant women meet in Auschwitz and attempt to conceal their pregnancies as they fight to survive. Their journey to freedom seems impossible, but Priska, Anka, and Rachel refuse to give up, believing both in themselves and in the power of miracles.  Find out if/how they escape in this eye-opening story of courage and perseverance.

Find the Good-Heather Lende
As an obituary writer in a small Alaskan town, Lende has learned to appreciate the little moments in life. She is encouraging and thoughtful in her experience and advice. Her positive outlook outlines a realistic approach to life’s problems while avoiding the dreaded victim mentality.  Find the Good really is the feel good book of the summer. Check it out today!

War Bonds: love stories from the greatest generation-Cindy Hval
Hval’s War Bonds highlights the stories of thirty different couples who met during the World War II era. Filled with wonderful detail and photographs from the 1940s and today, this book is sure to pull on the heartstrings. Moving and well-worth your time.

Take some time this summer and enjoy a good book in your hammock. The Reference staff at Frank L. Weyenberg Library are happy to assist you in finding the perfect book for your vacation.

Happy Reading!

*Images courtesy of EasiCat and http://rangeleycottage.com/