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Books and Reading

05/30/2018 - 12:12pm

January 30, 1649, was chosen to be King Charles’ death day. Among the sober observers were tall, flaxen-haired Gideon Jukes, musketeer and spy for Cromwell’s New Army, and lovely Juliana Lovell, the still loyal though seemingly abandoned wife of a Cavalier officer.

Juliana has crisscrossed wartorn England and now lives in London on the brink of starvation with her two young boys. She has a lady’s manners but has had to develop cunning to survive her years alone while her husband serves in the King’s army. Her path crosses with Gideon’s when they both flee the Tower in the aftermath of the King's execution.
 
Their lives before the war were so very different. Gideon, rebellious son of a wealthy merchant, nonetheless was cheerfully apprenticed to a printer of many things, including seditious literature. When the call came to join Parliament’s cause with the London trained bands, he quickly volunteered, eager to get away from a strange and unpleasant marriage. Without family and in need of a protector, Juliana had wed a trickster, a lesser noble, who fascinated her and kept her true to him despite their years apart.
 
Rebels and Traitors is a massive novel—nearly 750 pages—set in a time most Americans know little about. But they should, and this story is an engrossing way to immerse oneself in a time every bit as exciting and compelling as the American Civil War or the French Revolution. Those who enjoy James Michener’s historical sagas and Bernard Cornwell’s military tales of the British past should find summer solace in this lengthy tale. The pacing fluctuates between battles and sackings of towns--punctuated with periods of domestic normality, friendships, love, and even humor.
04/17/2018 - 10:29am
2018 Pulitzer Prize Winners

The 2018 Pulitzer Prize winners were announced April 16. The winners include Less: A Novel, by Andrew Sean Greer (fiction); Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser (biography); Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016, by Frank Bidart (poetry); DAMN., by Kendrick Lamar (music); Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, by James Forman Jr. (general nonfiction); and The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea, by Jack E. Davis (history).

03/06/2018 - 11:05am
If you like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

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 other book matches here.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Huxley's terrifying vision of a controlled and emotionless future "Utopian" society is truly startling in its prediction of modern scientific and cultural phenomena, including test-tube babies and rampant drug abuse.

If you like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, here are some other titles you may enjoy.

03/01/2018 - 11:49am
If You Like Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The "memoirs" of one of Japan's most celebrated geishas describes how, as a little girl in 1929, she is sold into slavery; her efforts to learn the arts of the geisha; the impact of World War II; and her struggle to reinvent herself to win the man she loves.

02/12/2018 - 9:53am

Kids can help out their grown-ups in the kitchen, but they can also make wonderful dishes all by themselves—or with just a little help. Take Mollie Katzen's Number Salad from her kid-friendly cookbook, Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes. It's delicious, nutritious, and a fun way to practice numbers. Here's how to make it:

Put into a bowl:

1 handful of coconut
2 tablespoons of O.J. concentrate
3 pieces of orange
4 slices of apple
5 cubes of cheese
6 slices of banana
7 pieces of melon
8 grapes
...and stir 9 times.

This recipe, complete with friendly, hand-drawn pictures and useful hints, can be found online here.  Children may also enjoy Mollie Katzen's Honest Pretzels and 64 Other Amazing Recipes for Kids Who Love to Cook and Salad People and More Real Recipes: A New Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up.

01/26/2018 - 12:14am
If you like The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks

This readalike is in response to a patron'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.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks

The divorce has just become final, and Richard is already engaged to someone. One woman is determined to change that situation—no matter what it takes. Soon a tangle of lies binds her life with those of Richard and his new fiancée. A tangle of lies—that hide some dangerous truths. (catalog summary)

If you like the suspense of The Wife Between Us, check out these similar titles.

01/15/2018 - 12:06am
Alive in Shape and Color: 17 Paintings by Great Artists and the Stories They Inspired

Bestselling author Lawrence Block's collection of short stories, published in 2016, In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper was a huge success. The panoply of contributors' ideas about well-known American artist Edward Hopper was widely hailed by literary crowds around the nation. Block knew he had to come up with an encore, which is another collection of short stories based on famous artwork, Alive in Shape and Color: 17 Paintings by Great Artists and the Stories They Inspired.

01/10/2018 - 10:19am
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to up your game by reading more, the library has you covered. Central Rappahannock Regional Library is introducing its first Adult Winter Reading Challenge to entice readers to curl up and stay warm with some good books. The theme is Books on the Big Screen, and, although reading any book will set you on your path to success in the challenge, library staff have a reel full of recommendations for books and stories that have been adapted to film.

10/24/2017 - 1:48am
The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery by Graeme Base

A book is read, a story ends, a telling tale is told. But who can say what mysteries a single page may hold?

Figure out this fantastic seek-and-find mystery by Graeme Base! When Horace the Elephant turns eleven, he decides there should be a celebration. But, not just any celebration—a celebration with a BIG feast! Horace chooses his ten guests, then eleven favorite foods of his choice. And, of course, eleven fun games to play!

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