Shelf Life

Our Shelf Life Blog features the latest recommendations chosen by library staff and volunteers.
Wed, 12/27/2017 - 2:52am
Cover to Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Richard Jones

A single snowflake
  floats through the air,
  on the nose
of a fine red fox.

Mon, 12/25/2017 - 2:50am
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

Holly Chase is a spoiled 16-year-old Scrooge. Raised by her father, a Hollywood director, and her stepmother, a celebrity fashionista, Holly always gets everything she wants. If she doesn't, there's hell to pay for anyone who stands in her way. After her stepmother passes away from a freak plastic surgery accident, Holly is determined to follow in her selfish footsteps and become Hollywood's leading fashion mogul. But on Christmas Eve, Holly is visited by three ghosts—the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. They try to convince her to mend her ways before something terrible happens, but Holly chooses not to. She thinks the spontaneous and frightening visits are a load of bull.

Then, she dies.

Fri, 12/22/2017 - 2:48am
Come Winter: A Novel by Evan Hunter

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.

Come Winter: A Novel by Evan Hunter
Sandy, David, and Peter met as bored teenagers vacationing with their parents on a small resort island. The horrific crime they committed five years ago bound them together forever, cursing their friendship in blood and setting them on a path toward nihilism and destruction. Now in their early twenties, the glamorous and sophisticated trio has come to an exclusive ski resort just days before Christmas to satisfy their appetite for danger and enjoy the physical company of the only human beings they can still tolerate: one another. But an interloper soon finds her way into their closed circle. Mary Margaret is no gullible innocent. She's smart and mischievous and appears bent on tearing the friends apart. Will Sandy, Peter, and David keep their sinister ménage-à-trois intact, or have they finally met their match? (catalog summary)

Cruel Winter by Sheila Connolly Cruel Winter by Sheila Connolly
Snow is a rarity in Maura Donovan's small village in County Cork, Ireland, so she wasn't sure what to expect when a major snowstorm rolled in around Sullivan's pub. But now she's stranded in a bar full of patrons—and a suspected killer in a long-ago murder. Maura's been in Ireland less than a year and hasn't heard about the decades-old unsolved crime that took place nearby, let alone the infamous suspect, Diane Caldwell. But the locals have, and they're not happy to be trapped with her. Diane, meanwhile, seeks to set the record straight, asserting her innocence after all this time. And since no one is going anywhere in the storm, Maura encourages Diane to share her side of the story, which she'd never had a chance to do in court. Over the next few hours, the informal court in Sullivan's reviews the facts and theories about the case—and comes to some surprising conclusions. But is it enough to convince the police to take a new look at an old case? (catalog summary)

Wed, 12/20/2017 - 2:22am
How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?

On Christmas Eve, does a dinosaur sleep? Does he go up to bed without making a peep?

Christmas is almost here, and Jane Yolen's favorite dinosaurs are up to no good. Are they sneaking a peek at the brightly wrapped gifts and picking off ornaments, angels and all? Do they eat the cookies left out for Saint Nick or lick all the candy canes? 

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 2:21am
Cover to A Christmas Return by Anne Perry

When readers of Anne Perry’s Charlotte & Thomas Pitt mystery series first met Charlotte’s grandmother, Mariah Ellison, in The Cater Street Hangman, she was an embittered shrew. She certainly disapproved of her headstrong granddaughter marrying a mere policeman, an occupation considered quite below her well-heeled family’s Victorian-era standards.

But time and some enlightening experiences, including those events taking place in another year’s Christmas novella (A Christmas Guest), have left Mariah finally coming to terms with the damage done by her extremely regrettable marriage. Alone at Christmas, she feels she is strong enough to make A Christmas Return to right an old wrong that threatens people she cares about very much.

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 3:09pm
Cover to River of Teeth

Have you met Fiona, the baby hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo on January 24? She was six weeks premature, and her survival was uncertain.  She has quickly grown from an adorable pink blob to a big, healthy teenager. Her father Henry sadly passed away in October. Watching the zoo's regular video updates has kept me glued to my computer. Who knew I could love a baby hippo?