Archive for October, 2017

Cinnamon, by Neil Gaiman

October 31, 2017

[Lesley]

It won’t surprise Gaiman fans that he presents this fairy-taleish story with surprising and delightful language and a wry, humorous take on the adult world from a child’s (and tiger’s perspective). I read it several times and enjoyed it even more with each reading. Much of the style and language hearkens back to Kipling’s Just-So Stories (I could almost hear the O Best Beloved in some of Gaiman’s phrasings), but it is like a nod to an old master by a new one – not derivative in any way, more a recognition of a long tradition in storytelling.

The story is about an Indian princess (named Cinnamon, of course) who is blind and who does not speak. Cinnamon’s well-meaning parents bring in many teachers to whom they promise wealth, etc. if they can get the girl to talk. Finally, a man-eating tiger arrives to take his turn, and if successful, to claim the rewards.

Parents may think because of its picture book format that this will be a good choice for very young children. Many stories in picture book format though are actually more appropriate for older kids and this is one of those. Anyone who has tried to read longer picture books like The Story of Ping or The Little House to younger kids will usually find the story can’t hold the child’s interest yet. On the other hand, sharing these with kids in early elementary school is a better match.

Check the library catalog for availability or to place a hold

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Wolves of the Calla, by Stephen King

October 26, 2017

528084[Sara] The audiobook of Wolves of the Calla was wonderful– I’m a little late in reading the Dark Tower series but am catching up bit by bit. This, the fifth book in the series, brings in more examples of self-awareness in the Stephen King universe and the connections and redundancies between different versions of reality. I highly recommend this series for those of his fans who haven’t yet read it. It looks daunting size-wise, but moves along at a perfect pace. Plus, I get the rare feeling of excitement at the end of each book knowing both that the story continues and that the next audiobook in the series is already published!

The narrator of this book, George Guidall, does a fantastic performance, but it took a few chapters to become accustomed to him after listening to the late Frank Muller narrate the first four books. Looking forward to listening to Guidall narrate book 6!

Find the Dark Tower series at Wiggin:
Audiobook in Catalog
Books in Catalog (Print Version)
Digital Copies on Overdrive

The Heirs, by Susan Rieger

October 25, 2017

[Lesley]┬áThis had some things in common with The Nest, but I liked the characters much more. I haven’t read many books with so many male/fraternal relationships and I liked the interplay. The small “mysteries” that get unearthed kept the story moving, but I was most engaged just by coming to know the characters and seeing how they reacted to the situations and each other.

Find The Heirs in the library catalog
Find The Heirs (ebook) on OverDrive

Never Caught: the Washingtons’ relentless pursuit of their runaway slave Ona Judge, by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

October 23, 2017

[Tricia] Never Caught tells the true story of Ona Judge, one of George and Martha Washington’s slaves who lived and worked in the presidential residence in Philadelphia during much of George Washington’s presidency. Risking absolutely everything for a life of freedom, Ona escaped and, with the help of a network of free blacks in Philadelphia, made her way to Portsmouth, NH. This book offers crucial insights into the day to day lives of enslaved people, the differing attitudes about slavery and abolition among the states during the late 1700s, and the unthinkable risks and costs of escaping slavery. Particularly revealing is George Washington’s attitude toward slavery, and his seeming inability to comprehend why Ona Judge would choose freedom over what he took to be the relatively privileged position of being a slave in the President’s home. He simply couldn’t accept that, as Ona Judge said herself, she would “rather suffer death” than return to slavery. This book offers an important examination of the meaning of freedom.