Featured Read | Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City : The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children / Riggs, RansomRansom Riggs, author of the New  York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, is back with the sequel Hollow City. The creepy and eccentric children from the first book now escape from their island off the coast of Wales. Time-traveling to London during the Blitz, Jacob and his friends are on a mission to seek out a shape-shifter who can help save their beloved Miss Peregrine. While attempting to locate help for their headmistress (she’s in a locked cage, trapped in the body of a bird), the children find themselves being chased by Miss Peregrine’s brother.

Note: If you are interested in Hollow City, you’ll want to read the original first. Reviewers have said that the book does not stand up well on its own.

Learn More

Learn more about the original book and its sequel, along with information about the author’s plans for further books and upcoming film adaptation in this article in Publishers Weekly.

Check It Out

The Bentley Library has both Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City – check our catalog for availability here.

Alan Bradley’s Newest Flavia de Luce Title: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel / Bradley, AlanAs a child, I was partial to certain mystery book series. As an adult, I’ve fallen in love with several mystery series that never fail to disappoint. One is Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series. The other is Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce novels. Their settings and heroines are worlds apart. But the writing and the characters are, in every instance of each series, my perfect antidote for the dry spell between great books.

For the uninitiated, Flavia is a nearly twelve year old girl who lives in a decaying British estate. This particular heroine lives for solving murders in the English countryside using her impressively cultivated knowledge of chemistry.  I’ve written of my love for Flavia and provided a larger back-story in a previous review on Book Buzz (read here). In this latest book, The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches, a new exciting climax is reached as readers learn the truth about her mother and father. Flavia is ordered to move along at the end of this book and it is unclear (at least to this reader) whether Bradley will continue to write future books for the series. In case you couldn’t tell, I rather enjoyed the newest book in the series and can’t recommend it enough!

-review by Colleen Mullally, reference librarian

Check It Out

If, after reading this post, you are curious about acquainting yourself with Flavia and her series of mysteries, please rest assured as the Bentley Library has a copy of all of the books in the series, including the newest The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches. Check the availability of any of the titles in the series in our catalog here.

Learn More

According to the author’s website and the IMDB, there will be a Flavia de Luce television series out in 2015! Very few details are available from the IMBD (read here) at present.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth / Col. Chris HadfieldReading Col. Chris Hadfield’s An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything was so enjoyable. Prior to this book, I have to confess that I hadn’t given much thought much to how to become a successful astronaut (let alone a Canadian boy watching the first moonwalk on TV, whose dream it was to one day to travel to space). I learned so much from reading – not just about the American, Russian, and Canadian space programs – but also about all the work involved in getting to outer-space. The book is a biography with many of life’s lessons emphasized throughout each of the chapters. Not only did I learn more about preparing to travel (and traveling) in space but I also learned some practical (and philosophical) lessons from being a”square astronaut, round hole” where – despite all sims (simulations) – there still is the experience of figuring out how to exit the hatch of the Shuttle (round hole) while wearing a space suit (square astronaut).

I’d highly recommend this book and felt I had so much more of an appreciation for certain scenes in the new movie Gravity as a result of reading Col. Chris Hadfield’s work.

-review by Colleen Mullally, reference librarian

Check It Out

Check the availability of An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth here in our catalog.

Learn More

NPR interviewed Hadfield a few months ago with Col. Chris Hadfield. Watch or read the excerpts here!  While on his final space mission, he took some time to put his music skills to use and sung (and strummed) along to David Bowie’s song”Space Oddity.” That recording was developed into a music video that went viral in 2012 and it’s available on YouTube to watch here. To get a feel for life in space, you can see all 29 of Chris Hadfield’s videos here. He developed quite a following from his tweets  – follow him on Twitter @Cmdr_Hadfield.

And Now, There’s Even a Book Trailer!

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project / Simsion, GraemeThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is a sweet and smart and funny take on the romantic comedy. Australian genetics professor Don Tillman is “socially awkward” with OCD and Asperger’s tendencies — I picture a more grown-up version of Sheldon Cooper from the “The Big Bang Theory” who is not as repulsed by the idea of sexual intimacy (but is still technically a virgin). When Don is 39 he decides he needs to find a companion and embarks on the “Wife Project”, complete with a thorough questionnaire to weed out those deemed unsuitable; Don prides himself on his scientific approach and efficiency and does not like to waste any time at all. He soon meets Rosie, who is NOT a match for the Wife Project, but as a DNA expert he agrees to help her with her quest to find her biological father (the “Father Project”). Soon his life is thrown into disarray and joy as he becomes consumed by the “Rosie Project”.

– Review by Donna Bacchiocchi, Manager of Technical Services

Learn More

The book has been reviewed by The Guardian (read) and The New York Times (read). Read an interview with author Graeme Simsion in The Examiner.  Sony Pictures has optioned the screen rights and the author will write the script. Learn more about the author by visiting his website at graemesimsion.com.

Check It Out

Check the library catalog to see if The Rosie Project is on the shelf.

LibraryReads Debut This Fall: New National “Library Staff Picks” List

LibraryReadsThis fall marks the debut of a new national “library staff picks” program called LibraryReads. All public library staff members (not just readers’ advisory librarians) are invited to nominate new adult titles that they have read, loved, and are eager to share with patron. While the list focuses on adult titles, books from all categories and genres can be nominated. The ten most frequently recommended titles will be calculated monthly.

Learn More

Read more about the LibraryReads program from the article in Library Journal this past summer. The upcoming November favorites from LibraryReads are available from Library Journal here.

Visit the Site

View the current month’s LibraryReads list, visit the archive, sign up for the newsletter, and get the latest news by visiting libraryreads.org.

Featured Read: Audrey Niffenegger’s The Raven

Widely known for her novel The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger has a new book out entitled Raven Girl.  Like her book The Nightmobile, Niffenegger’s Raven Girl is a story told in pictures, that story being a modern fairy tale described by Publishers Weekly as  “an eerie picture book for adults.”

Check It Out

Click here to see whether Raven Girl is available and here to learn about other books by this author owned by the Bentley Library.

Learn More

Transforming the Raven Girl into a ballet, Audrey Niffenegger collaborated with composer Gabriel Yared and Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor to  be performed by the London Royal Ballet. Learn more about the ballet and read about Niffenegger’s experiences of dance and the inspiration behind her latest work.

More from Book Buzz

Two of Audrey Niffenegger’s books, Her Fearful Symmetry (review) and The Night Bookmobile (review), have been featured on Book Buzz.

Book Buzz Is the Featured Library Display (July 16 – August 26)

Book Buzz Banner

Six summers ago (July 26, 2007 to be exact) the Bentley Library Book Buzz site launched its first book review to promote the library’s Popular Reading collection. Over the years, library staff have posted their reviews about the books and audiobooks in the collection on Book Buzz. Though popular titles come and go, we’ve generally kept the books that have been reviewed and added them to our stacks. We’ve built quite a collection and the display from July 16 through August 26 will feature highlights from our Book Buzz site. Visit our display in the entryway on the Library’s main floor or check out our display on Pinterest!

Feeling Inspired?

Want to share your opinion? Visit the individual Book Buzz review to post a comment and tell the world what you thought of one the books our staff has reviewed.

Caught a case of reviewing fever? We’d love to hear from you. Write a review of any of our print or audio titles in the Popular Reading Collection or any of the e-book or e-audio titles in OverDrive. Guidelines are available here.

ShelfTalk: Reading Spaces

Do you have associations of certain books based on where you read them? Nora Ephron struck a chord with me as she described not only the books that had a big impact on her but also where she was when she read them.

“I did most of my reading as a child on my bed or on a rattan sofa in the sunroom of the house I grew up in. Here’s a strange thing: whenever I read a book I love, I start to remember all of the other books that have sent me into rapture, and I can remember where I was living and the couch I was sitting on when I read them.”

Nora Ephron I Feel Bad About My Neck

Photo credit: Isaac Leedom. "Reading." Flickr. Last accessed: 6.10.13.

Photo credit: Isaac Leedom. “Reading.” Flickr.
Last accessed: 6.10.13.

I remember the lazy evenings I spent one summer reading Joyce Carol Oates’ We Were the Mulvaneys on the white-carpeted floor of my bedroom, the breeze ruffling the pages of the fat book. During the final August days before leaving to begin my freshman year of college, I lingered over the closing pages of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera while reclining on the plaid sofa in the home of a family I was babysitting for at the time. Years later, I read Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections in its entirety one rainy weekend while staying at a B&B in upstate New York. During the first blizzard the winter after we moved into our new home, I remember taking Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems collection down from the shelf in the office, sitting curled up with the book and the hunter green wool blanket on the guest room bed, and reading all the poems about snow and winter in the early pre-dawn light. And more recently, I remember staying up late (and suffering the consequences for doing so) to finish Kathryn Stockett’s The Help on the guest room bed. Just as memories about reading a particular book often remained tied to a specific place, so it goes with the spoken word. Many of my journeys in the car have been accompanied by the narrator of an audio book. I listened to Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book during the long car trip out and back to visit family one Thanksgiving weekend. And I remembered while out working in my garden the other week that I spent many hours the previous spring weeding the flower beds while listening to Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. 

– Colleen Mullally, Reference Librarian

Certain books do have a shared memory of place associated with them. We’d love to hear from you. What are some of yours?



Featured Read | Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life / Kate AtkinsonDonna Bacchiocchi from the library’s Technical Services department recently finished Kate Atkinson’s new book. She writes “Life After Life is a complex, layered, intriguing book about Ursula Todd who is reborn again and again in 1910 England and lives her life in various different but still similar ways, always affecting the lives of her friends and family.”

Learn More

Read a review from the New York Times (read) and the Telegraph (read).

Check it Out

Click the links to find out whether the library’s print, Playaway audio, and e-audio copies of Life After Life are available. Click here to see Kate Atkinson’s other books in our collection.

Featured Read | The Cooked Seed : A Memoir by Anchee Min

Internationally best-selling author Anchee Min has released the sequel to her memoir The Red Azalea. Here she tells of her new life as an immigrant to Chicago in 1984, with a desThe Cooked Seed: A Memoir by Anchee Minire to study art but knowing no English.  Rather than provide my own synopsis, I thought it would be more interesting to let you learn more about the book in an article from Wenguang Huang in The Chicago Tribune (here).

Check it Out

Check to see whether the library’s copy of The Cooked Seed (book) is available, and click hereto see Anchee Min’s other books in our collection.

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