Posted in Library News, Reading Tips

Reboot Your TBR, Day 5: Phone a Friend!

Welcome back to Reboot Your TBR! All week long, I’ve shared my tried-and-true strategies for choosing the right book at the right time. Did I overlook a TBR reboot method that works for you? Leave a comment and let me know! In the meantime, enjoy this series finale:

When all else fails, ask a friend for a book recommendation. Your friends know you really well, and they are a great resource to call upon when you are having trouble choosing something to read. The best part of getting book recommendations from your friends is being able to talk about the book together after you have read it. As a bonus, the book will be much more meaningful to you when you associate it with a close pal. My friends know my taste in books almost as well as they know me, so I put a lot of faith in their recommendations. Your friends are also a perfect sounding board when you’re stuck between two or three books and can’t settle on which one to read. Describe the books to a friend, and they will always steer you in the right direction. Here’s the latest book I picked up, (naturally) on a bestie’s recommendation:

EskensHere’s a quick plot summary from the publisher: College student Joe Talbert’s English class assignment is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, a dying Vietnam veteran and a convicted murderer, medically paroled to a nursing home after spending thirty years in prison. Unable to reconcile Carl’s heroism in Vietnam with the despicable acts of the convict, Joe throws himself into unraveling the tapestry of Carl’s history. But will he discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

Thank you to Ms. Watts for the recommendation. I look forward to reading the book and discussing it together … maybe over a coffee? 💁☕️📖

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Posted in Library News, Reading Tips

Reboot Your TBR, Day 4: #Bookstagram

Welcome back to Reboot Your TBR! All week long, I’m sharing my tried-and-true strategies for choosing the right book at the right time. Check out the first three posts, and stay tuned for one final TBR Reboot tip tomorrow!

Day 4: #Bookstagram. The last time I searched Instagram for #Bookstagram, almost 24,000,000 results came up! The content varies wildly from one account to another, but it’s always fun to see what (and where) people are reading, what delicious coffee-themed beverages they are enjoying while turning (or swiping) pages, and just how much care our fellow book lovers put into their #Bookstagram posts. Scroll through just a dozen or so images and I guarantee that a book or two will catch your eye. As a bonus, you will probably see a lot of cute cats while browsing posts. Not sure where to start? I recommend clicking here to view some delectable images of Reese Witherspoon’s recent book club selection, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

And here are a few miscellaneous strategies I save for those times when every book looks good, but not quite right

  1. The List Randomizer. Type a handful of “contender” book titles into a form (each on a separate line), click on Randomize, and watch your next read appear at the top of a list!
  2. BlackThe Color Coordinator. Browse the library or bookstore shelves for a book cover that matches your birthstone. Mine is an emerald, and I found …
    Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black
    Debut author Teri Bailey Black unearths the long-buried secrets of a small 1850s New England town in this richly atmospheric Gothic tale of murder, guilt, redemption, and finding love where least expected.
  3. The Bookshelf Benchwarmer. Which book has been on your bookshelf the longest? Now is the time to pick it up and jump in! My bookshelf  benchwarmer is The Invisible Circus by Jennifer Egan:
    EganSet in 1978, the political drama and familial tensions of the 1960s form a backdrop for the world of Phoebe O’Connor, age eighteen. Phoebe is obsessed with the memory of her sister Faith, a beautiful hippie who died in Italy in 1970. In order to find out the truth about Faith’s life and death, Phoebe retraces her steps from San Francisco across Europe, a quest that yields complex revelations about family, love, and Faith’s lost generation.
Posted in Library News, Reading Tips

Reboot Your TBR, Day 3: Think Outside the Paragraph!

Welcome back to Reboot Your TBR! All week long, I’m sharing my tried-and-true strategies for choosing the right book at the right time. Don’t forget to read Day 1 and Day 2, and stay tuned for another post tomorrow!

Day 3: Think Outside the Paragraph. When you’re not decided on what to read, opening a book to page 1 and seeing a page full of text in 9-point font can bring on a round of readerly anxiety. But you’re in luck: books are being published in ever more innovative formats, and thinking outside the paragraph might be just what you need to break out of a cycle of indecision. Here are some tips and recommendations:

  • Want a book where every word is essential and the white space is as meaningful as the text? Try a novel in verse! Crossover by Kwame Alexander, Crank by Ellen Hopkins, and Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds are among the best.
     

  • Webcomics (comic strips originally published online) are frequently compiled into print collections that are perfect for both graphic novel devotees and readers who are new to the format. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, Be Everything At Once by Dami Lee, and Digger by Ursula Vernon are personal favorites. Sample the artwork, style, and story arcs online before diving into a compilation.
     

  • A Key to Treehouse Living by Elliot Reed is the story of William Tyce, a boy growing up without his parents in the rural Midwest. This debut novel is written as a glossary-style list, opening with “Absence” and closing 226 pages later with “Yonder, the Wild Blue.” A unique, memorable reading experience.
  • Sadie, a recently published mystery by Courtney Summers, is accompanied by a 6-episode, full-cast podcast that enhances and expands on the novel itself. Give Episode 1 a listen and see if it catches your interest. 

Posted in Library News, Reading Tips

Reboot Your TBR, Day 2: Check Your Local Listings!

Welcome back to Reboot Your TBR! All week long, I’m sharing my tried-and-true strategies for choosing the right book at the right time. Don’t forget to read Day 1: Try an Anthology, and stay tuned for another post tomorrow!

Day 2: Check Your Local Listings. At any given time, at least one or two of the movies showing at your local theater will be based on books. Crazy Rich Asians, A Simple Favor, and The Hate U Give: all in theaters now, and all adapted from popular novels. Watch the movie preview and if you like what you see, pick up the book! Streaming platforms like Netflix are also getting in on the fun with adaptations of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Dumplin‘, Bird Box, and more. If you’ve already seen the movie, try another book by the author of the source material. For example, jump back into the star-crossed world of Lara Jean and Peter K. with P.S. I Still Love You, or check out her earlier series-starter, The Summer I Turned Pretty. Try Puddin’, a companion novel to Dumplin’ that follows the storylines of supporting characters from the first book. And while you’re waiting for Bird Box to land on Netflix, read Josh Malerman’s latest, Unbury Carol. It received mixed reviews, but it just might be the right book for you right now.

Posted in Library News, Reading Tips

Reboot Your TBR, Day 1: Try an Anthology!

Like most avid readers, I always have a stack of books waiting in the wings. This To-Be-Read (or TBR) list might be a physical pile of books, a list of titles I’ve tagged “Want to Read” on Goodreads, pending eBook and audiobook holds in Libby or SORA, or a good ol’ handwritten list of books that caught my eye during my last bookstore visit. But sometimes, the longer my TBR list (or the taller the stack of books on my desk), the tougher the time I have choosing what to read next. Sometimes DAYS go by and I just can’t settle on a book and settle in for the read. Whenever this happens, I call on a handful of tried-and-true strategies to choose my next read. This week, I’ll share a strategy or two each day to help my fellow readers choose the right book at the right time. It’s time for a TBR reboot!

Day 1: Try an anthology. Discover new-to-you authors of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry through an anthology on a theme that interests you. Most of the authors featured in the recent run of essay and short story collections have also published their own books. Read a sampling of chapters from an anthology, select one that feels like it was written just for you, then pick a book by that writer (every collection has helpful author bios, including other books they’ve written, in the back). Not sure where to start? Here are some stand-out anthologies that have recently been added to the Ridley High School Library:

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Stay tuned for another TBR Reboot tip tomorrow!

Posted in Best books

#BestBooks2017!

It’s a holiday tradition! Magazines, newspapers, and Web sites like Amazon.com select the best books of the year just in time for holiday shopping and New Year’s Resolution reading lists. Every list is unique, but some of these young adult novels are turning up everywhere; they really are the best of the best! And there’s something for everyone here: a teenager’s quest to find her biological family, a once-a-year performance of a fantasy game show, the brotherly bond between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh, a hundred-year old skeleton that reveals painful secrets from the past, a teenage coder who glitches herself into a high-stakes online tournament, a ghostly sixty-second elevator ride, and a mythic lost city. Each of these books is available in the library, so check one out today! #BestBooks2017! #SoManyGreatBooks! #GetReading!

  • Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  • Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman
  • We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
  • Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
  • Warcross by Marie Lu
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  • You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Posted in Best books

#BestBooks2016!

It’s a holiday tradition! Magazines, newspapers, and Web sites like Amazon.com select the best books of the year just in time for holiday shopping and New Year’s Resolution reading lists. Every list is unique, but some of these young adult novels are turning up everywhere; they really are the best of the best! And there’s something for everyone here: a tree that feeds upon lies, a talented 16-year old artist who meets versions of herself at different ages, the Queen of Hearts when she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love, four teenagers vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a 17-year old named Cliff who’s living on the precipice, and the truth behind the sensational trial of Lizzie Borden. Each of these books is available in the library, so check one out today! #BestBooks2016! #SoManyGreatBooks! #GetReading!

  • The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
  • The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
  • The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
  • Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King
  • Character, Driven by David Lubar
  • Burn, Baby, Burn by Meg Medina
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman
  • The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon