Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Not New but Still Noteworthy

I decided some time ago that I do not know my collection as well as I should and that I should remedy that by going through the whole thing and making sure that I'd read at least one book off each shelf (not very scientific, I know, but a good start). Here are three books that I read while we were closed for Christmas that I was sorry to see end (descriptions taken from our online catalog):

The Hollow Kingdom by Clare Dunkle
In nineteenth-century England, a powerful sorcerer and King of the Goblins chooses Kate, the elder of two orphan girls recently arrived at their ancestral home, Hallow Hill, to be his bride and queen.

The Minister's Daughter by Julie Hearn
In 1645 in England, the daughters of the town minister successfully accuse a local healer and her granddaughter of witchcraft to conceal an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, but years later during the 1692 Salem trials their lie has unexpected repercussions.

The Queen's Soprano by Carol Dines
Seventeen year-old Angelica Voglia lives in seventeenth-century Rome and has the voice of an angel, but because the pope forbids women to sing in public, she must escape to Queen Christina's palace to become a court singer.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What to Read While You Wait for Twilight!

Miss Jenny recommends:
The House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith
The Den of Shadows series by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Monday, December 15, 2008

For guys who are not caught up in the Twilight phenomenon: A Couple of Not-Necessarily-New-but-New-to-Miss-Jenny-Teen-Series

I read the first novels in each of these series recently and loved them! I get a lot of requests for recommendations of books that fans of such series as Artemis Fowl, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, and The Ranger's Apprentice might like, and I think both of these series really fit that particular bill...

The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme, Book 1: The Floating Island, by Elizabeth Haydon

Charles Magnus Ven Polypheme—known as Ven—is the youngest son of a long line of famous shipwrights. He dreams not of building ships, but of sailing them to far-off lands where magic thrives. Ven gets his chance when he is chosen to direct the Inspection of his family’s latest ship—and sets sail on the journey of a lifetime.

Attacked by fire pirates, lost at sea and near death, Ven is rescued by a passing ship on its way to the Island of Serendair. Thankful to be alive, little does Ven know that the pirate attack—and his subsequent rescue—may not have been an accident. Shadowy figures are hunting for the famed Floating Island, the only source of the mystical Water of Life. They think Ven can lead them to this treasure and will stop at nothing to get it—even murder….

Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 1: Foundling, by D.M. Cornish

Set in the world of the Half-Continent-a land of tri-corner hats and flintlock pistols-the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy is a world of predatory monsters, chemical potions and surgically altered people. Foundling begins the journey of Rossamund, a boy with a girl's name, who is just about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor. What starts as a simple journey is threatened by encounters with monsters-and people, who may be worse. Learning who to trust and who to fear is neither easy nor without its perils, and Rossamund must choose his path carefully.

Complete with appendices, maps, illustrations, and a glossary, Monster Blood Tattoo grabs readers from the first sentence and immerses them in an entirely original fantasy world with its own language and lore.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cane River by Lalita Tademy

Cane River tells the story of four generations of women growing up in slavery and then as free people of color in Louisiana, living and working on the plantations of Creole planters, then subsequently on their own land. The author fictionalizes her family history creating a "painstaking historical reconstruction with unforgettable storytelling" portraying the "complex, unspoken bonds between slaves and slave owners" (

A fast and easy read, this book is well worth your time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Book Review Club

Sally Busbee will review Patriotic Fire this Thursday, Nov. 13 at 10:30am.
It's sure to be an interesting program. Please join us!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

"But I don't WANNA read a series about vampires! I scccared!" That's what I thought over and over each time a teen requested one of the books in the Twilight series...until I went to a workshop entitled "Books for Reluctant Teen Readers." The room was filled with middle-aged librarians, and the speaker held up Twilight. "This book is about a girl who falls in love with a vampire..." One of the librarians interrupted her. "It's a book about a HOT vampire!!" The rest of the room busted out laughing, agreeing wholeheartedly.

I just finished the final book in the series...I never was scared, and the vampire...oh, yes...VERY hot!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"Clay" - Great YA book that's comfortably creepy

"Clay"***** by award-winning young adult author David Almond:

An alter boy turned evil, using the name of the Lord to create life out of clay -- (think Frankenstein). This novel sits on the edge of the horror genre, yet it sticks close enough to reality that you feel like, if you only had the strong will to believe, you too could create a living being out of clay.
Excellent plot, great characters, and the writing is well crafted. This book has it all.
I admit that I judged this book by its interesting cover: a muddy-faced clay sculpture that looks like it's about ready to breathe. I just had to read it.
I've got a few more pages to read, then it will be back on the shelves at HHL.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday's Book Review

The book review club heard from HHL staffer, Patti Conrad, who talked about the book, Chew on This by Eric Schlosser.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

Helen Hall Library's book discussion club will talk The Story of Edgar Sawtelle at their next meeting Monday, November 17 at 7 pm.

Book Jacket: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times